Provide Scholarships for 20 Rural Guatemalan Women

by Kateri Tekakwitha Fund
A Singing Sharing
A Singing Sharing

Many of the young women you supportrd last year are still meeting and learning.  Two new young women joined the continuing students in 2013.  The all still need your support.

 At our July meeting, we tried a new technique.  Mishel Cutzal, interning with the Kateri Fund to get some work experience, presented an entertainig way to share learning.  The theme was Personal Hygiene.  The young women were divided into groups.  Each group was given part of an article on Personal Hygiene to read. The group was asked to report on what they had read using their creativity.  Two groups reported with a song.  Another presented a  funny skit that was very entertaining. Mishel awarded points according to a scale that had been explained to the group at the beginning. They included smiles, level of participation, initiative, and creativity. There was a tie for first place with 95 points, so the two groups were declared the winners and will receive a prize at the meeting next month.  Everyone enjoyed participating in a new way.  In their individual interviews they shared the new things that  they learned about personal hygiene and its importance in daily life.

Francisca Sirin is finishing up her student teaching and will graduate in October.  She is very busy as she  does her student teaching in the morning and is attending her own classes in the afternoon.

Silvia Sian Quiej also will graduate this year as a teacher.  She is preparing her seminar presentation and then will do her student teaching.  The last year of studies is always very demanding, but she expects all to go well.

Blanca Surec, Aura Curruchiche,  Lily Garcia Alvarado, Reina Cuxil, Sandra Lopez Cotji, and Paula del Carmen Cali all have averages in the 80's.  They are good students working hard to succeed. 

Adela Surec is doing even better with an average of 91%.  She wants to keep it above 90%.  Her parents are very proud of her and are giving her the support that she needs to do well

Clara Ecomac To, Glenda Tum To, Barbara Tarton, and Marilena Patzan are all working hard to maintain their average of 70%.

The young women appreciate the confidence their  supporters show in them.  They often say that they do not want to let their supporters down and that it gives them an extra incentive to keep at their studies. Thank you for your past support. Think about giving again.

Another Sharing
Another Sharing

This month, the young women created a mural from newspaper pictures using all the knowledge they have gained so far this year about  vocations and careers.  It was a way to review what they have learned while having fun.  They can see their creation each time they attend a meeting.

Lily was welcomed as a new scholar moving us closer to our goal of 20 young women on scholarship for the year.  She is studying for a career in computer use in an office.  She is in first year of this high school level career.  She is from San Pedro Yepocapa in the state of Chimaltenango.  She studies weekends and helps her mother selling refrescos during the week.  She is enthusiastic about her studies and finds it interesting to explore and investigate with the computer.

The other students are all taking exams right now.  Their studies move along and they are all working hard to keep their grades up. 

In Francisca's village, they celebrated their annual fair.  They had religious activiites and a cultural night with many traditional songs, dances, etc.  The last day, they had a parade and all the  schools participated. They also had a soccer game and  the young people, both boys and girls, took part.

Francisca and Sandra are both doing their student teaching.  Francisca is really enjoying working with the 4th graders, but she says that you need to pay attention to the mischievous children who don't want to work.  Sandra is working with two grades, 3rd and 4th. It appears to her that the 3rd graders are more responsible than the 4th graders

2013 Kateri Scholars
2013 Kateri Scholars

Update on What is Happening to the Students You Supported in  2012!

At the March Kateri Tekakwitha Fund scholarship meeting, Juana Cun,  2009 graduate and Candelaria Sut, 2010 graduate shared their work experience.

Juana advised the students to have a goal and be persistent-not give up until they reach it.  It is necessary to organize your time and put other things aside in order to succeed.  As a wife and mother, she has many responsibilities, but she finds a way to fulfill her obligations to both, even though she often must stay up late to accomplish all her work.  She has found it worth the effort.  One thing that has motiviated her is that she discovered that with more academic training she was able to command a higher salary.  She might do the same work without the degree, but she was paid less.  She felt they would not regret the time they devoted to their studies.

Candelaria told them that the most important thing was not to be afraid of new things or undervalue yourself.  She had found that everything is possible, but it oftens takes sacrifice and hard work.  Her greatest day was when she received her first salary.  She never had that experience.  Before she finished her studies, she had worked as a domestic.  In that situation, she never was free.  She received a small salary, but was mainly paid with room and board.  It is not the same as having your own salary and making your own decisions about how to use it.

The students has many opinions about the presentations.  Sandra Lopez, Blanca Surec, Reina Cuxil, Aura Curruchiche,  and Paula Cali said that the two former Kateri scholars were examples that helped them understand that you can accomplish all that you propose for yourself.  Adela Surec took away the idea that to get started you need to take whatever job is offered even if it is not what you have studied and with some work experience you can find a job in your career.   Silvia saw that these two women had a positive outlook and were not afraid of new things.  They had struggled to accomplish what they wanted. Glenda Tum and Clara Ecomac received advise on how to keep a job- to be punctual, responsible, and disciplined.  Marilena Patzan was encouraged to move forward in her studies and to organize and use her time well.  All of the students felt that the life lessons of Juana and Candelaria were helpful for them as they struggled with their studies and obstacles to meeting their goals.

We are seeking funding to continue the project through this year.  If you would like to see these young women through another year of study, click here  

The 2012 scholarship holders gathered to end the school year with a "clausura" at the Aurora Zoo in GUatemala City.  Many had never been there before.  It was the first time they had traveled to the city and although several were sad to see the animals confined to such small cages, they were all impressed by what they saw.  Paula was particularly remarked on the large size of the tiger.  They young women shared a meal and exchanged gifts.  Cristina Cuc, Ana Chali, Mery Cun, Mishel Cutzal, Andrea Patzan, and Celia Sicay were recognized with special gifts.  Cristina and Ana graduated with a diploma to teach music, Mery and Martina to teach elementary school, Andrea as a bi-ligual secretary, and Mishel and Celia as bookkeepers.  Everyone especially enjoyed celebrating as a group and having a chance to have fun togehter.  There will be seven openings for next year.  The scholarship team is visiting the homes of the new applicants and will interview them in early December.  Many of them are reapplying. Although they were qualified last year, there was not enopugh funds to award them scholarships.  We now are seekig funds for 2013.  Our project is up on Global Giving.  We are looking forward to your continued support in 2013. Go to our Project and make a donation for 2013.

The last few months have seen the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund busy as ever. This past month, our leadership team prepared for their quarterly Board Meeting to strategize our end of year fundraising and 2013 program planning initiatives. At the same time, our team in Guatemala was preparing for this year’s Scholarship class graduation and an overall assessment of our Scholarship Program.

Busy as we have been, we could not be more motivated to take on the tasks at hand. As we put the final touches on our program planning for next year, we are taking into account the findings of our most recent program assessments. In surveying women in both our internship and scholarship programs, we’ve heard that our scholars are learning tangible and effective techniques for preparing for life in the work force. In August and September, our Scholarship group had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Ministry of Education to discuss the interview process and various aspects of determining a career path. It is precisely this kind of experience that our program participants are looking for. These skills are not typically taught in the local school curriculum, still the woman in our programs recognize the importance of approaching the job search in an organized and well prepared manner.

Looking into our program planning for next year, we are excited to utilize this feedback to ensure the women of Guatemala have access to the quality programming and training experiences that help them reach their goals and enter the workforce with competence and confidence. Our project for next year has just been posted to our Global Giving page. Please help us continue our important work by supporting our Scholarship program for next year. Your gift today can help unlock a year of opportunity for a deserving young woman in an indigenous community in Guatemala.

Join us in making sure another class of young indigenous women gets the change to move forward, and pursue their dreams.


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Organization Information

Kateri Tekakwitha Fund

Location: Pacifica, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Kay Sweeney
Pacifica, CA United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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