Proud to be Indigenous!
In May, the scholarship young women happily celebrated being Indigenous! In Guatemala, the Indigenous are put down and like all who are oppressed, they begin to believe the put-downs. As women, they are put down as well, so as Indigenous women, they need to develop strong identities. One of the Kateri Fund's goals is to expose them to their rights as women and facilitate their recognizing the strengths of their culture.
Those two goals came together at the May meeting.
The first activity was to develop positive feelings. Lidia led the exercise where the young women gave each other positive feedback. Some of the things they said were;”You look very pretty!", "You woke up today radiant!", "May you have a blessed day", and "You are marvelous!'. She then asked how it made them feel. They all said that they felt relaxed, happy, and calm. She summed it all up by saying that it was clear that having nice things said about you gave you a good feeling.
Lisabeth led the second activity. She talked to the young women about their Rights as Women. The young women said in a strong voice "I have the right to ............ “ and drew a picture that expressed the right. To sum it all up, each young woman wrote a right and law that protected it on a paper flower and put the flowers together as a garden of rights. As each young woman put her flower in the garden, she told why she chose it. For example: "I like the right to access to land because not only men have the right to inherit land, we, as women, also have that right!"
The meeting ended by taking pictures of the young women with a sign saying, "Proud to be Indigenous" in Spanish.
All the young women are continuing in their studies.
Aura is particularly excited because she sees her goal of graduation in sight. She has had a scholarship with the Fund for five years and has worked hard to get to where she is now. She is very focused on what she wants to accomplish. She will be starting her practice as a bookkeeper at a business called Global Assessors this month.
Carmen and Ana are in 11th grade, so have another year to graduation. Maria Alicia, Lilian, Milvia, Mayra, and Ingrid have all started high school career training. It is different from junior high but they are adjusting. Margarita, Yessica, and Darli are in junior high and benefiting from the advice of the older Kateri scholars.
Carmen and Candelaria, who lead the program, are enjoying seeing the young women succeed.