To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans

by Aldea Maya assistance For Mayan Families Society
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
To bring education equality to Tzu'tujil Mayans
A university student completing online assignment
A university student completing online assignment

As of the beginning of September, COVID-19 seems to be under control in Santiago Atitlan and Chuk Muk.

The elementary and middle school students have not been attending school since the outbreak started. The community is still trying to figure out how to restart the elementary school year safely.

Aldea Maya was able to help all the middle school students by photocopying every students assignments to save the families the cost. These students restarted in September with printed assignments.

The high school students have been receiving printed assignments from their school since March.The high schools are now going to start using on line for classes. As the families are very poor and there is no internet available in the village to individual homes, continuing their education would be difficult. Luckily our office has a large disc and we can receive the internet. 

The university students have been using our office for internet and computers since the beginning of the outbreak as ALL their courses have been on line. Because there has been a need for them to social distance we have had students in all 3 rooms in our office as well as sitting outside on the 3 covered patios. However with the high school students now being on line …our wee office was going to be short of computers.

We are very fortunate that a sponsor family generously donated to help us buy 4 brand new laptops. These we will add to our other computers and hopefully be able to help all the students studying in university and high school.

We are pleased that eventhough the students have found switching to one line studies challenging but are rising to the challenge.

Spacing students for safe learning during COVID
Spacing students for safe learning during COVID
Photocopy assignments for middle school students
Photocopy assignments for middle school students
Receiving 4 new laptops
Receiving 4 new laptops
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Samuel and Ana selling oranges to get food money
Samuel and Ana selling oranges to get food money

Over the last 9 years we have focused on the middle school in the village as elementary school is free and middle school has fees. However it has come to light the huge drop off in elementary school students as they proceed through the grades. Usually around 90 students start grade one and by grade six there is no more than 38 students. This is a drop off of around 60% of the students.

Why do so many students stop going to elementary school?

There is several main reasons why students quit. Often the families are single parent or grandparent and they just cannot afford supplies. There can be an illness in the family and the child has to go out and earn money for the family. Sometimes there are many students in a family and they have to choose which students get to continue. Or the family just does not see the importance of education.

Therefore. this year we are focusing on elementary and middle school and finding sponsorship for the at most risk elementary students. We are pleased to be able to help 9 of the most at risk elementary students in 2020.

One such student is Samuel. He is the second oldest in a family of 6 children. When we met with his mom we found that we had met her earlier  in November with our emergency food program. Samuel's little sister had been hospitalized for malnutrition and the local health centre asked if we could help, which we did. ( this is another Christmas card project!!!) In talking to Samuel's family we found that his older sister should have gone to middle school last year but did not attend. Well we were happy to inform the family that we had a sponsorship opportunity for her and Samuel.

There are many more students requiring sponsorship. Please contact us if you are interested in helping to change a life for the better.

Ingrid getting first ever new backpack
Ingrid getting first ever new backpack
Joselyn getting supplies for grade one
Joselyn getting supplies for grade one
Sandra getting her first pair of new school shoes
Sandra getting her first pair of new school shoes
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Visiting the mechanic trade school
Visiting the mechanic trade school

January is an extremely busy time at the Aldea Maya Learning Centre in Chuk Muk, Guatemala. It is the start of the new school year. The staff and volunteers need to reconnect with all our students after the 2 month school break, which is so much fun.

We need to update all our student records to make sure they are accurate. This is a very important time as we can see how each of our students and families are doing as we sit down for some one on one time. 

It is also when we work with each high school graduate to find out what they are wanting to study in university, the location of the university and the cost. Many of the students have to write entrance exams and all of this needs to be coordinated as some of the universities are several hours away.  This year we have 23 students in university. This is totally amazing when you think that no one in the village went past grade 6 before Aldea Maya started the middle school in 2012.

And what are our students studying: education, special education, music, physical education, law, accounting, business administration, agriculture, systems engineering,social work, lab technicians, math and physics. We are building the leaders of the future.

This is going to be the first year that Aldea Maya has students in the trades. We are every excited to have one student studying to be a mechanic, and two others studying to be Chef and Pastry Chef. 

We also have to coordinate 44 sponsor students in elementary, middle and high school receiving their supplies. Fourteen of these are new students. With new students we visit their homes. At this time we may give toys to younger siblings or vitamins to breast feeding moms. 

Studying social work in Julisa & Josefa's future
Studying social work in Julisa & Josefa's future
New sponsor family receiving toys
New sponsor family receiving toys
Henry is writing exam to study math & physics
Henry is writing exam to study math & physics
Purchasing school supplies for our music student
Purchasing school supplies for our music student
Collecting data and updating website one on one
Collecting data and updating website one on one
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all 20 students climbed on new car floor mat
all 20 students climbed on new car floor mat

As mentioned in previous report, Aldea Maya, helps every middle school student in Chuk Muk to receive their school supplies and assists with school fees. We also purchase and deliver teaching supplies to the village's preschools, elementary school and middle school.

The children in preschool and primary school do not have any toys at home. To help make education fun and instructive Aldea Maya supplies toys and books that challenge a child's imagination.  We supply building blocks, LEGO, dolls with clothing, cars, items to be sorted, dress up toys., games like chess, puzzles. We also supply sports equipment.

In Chuk Muk we start every year with about 100 students in grade 1 and by grade 6 the number of students has dwindled to under 30. In 2019 the number of students graduating grade 6 is 28 students.

The joy you see on every child's face shows how important these items are. They make school fun and increase the likeliood that a child will stay in school.

Kinder class receiving teaching supplies
Kinder class receiving teaching supplies
Puzzle fun
Puzzle fun
a doll that looks just like me
a doll that looks just like me
How high can I build this before it falls?
How high can I build this before it falls?
Let's build
Let's build
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group to write university scholarship exams
group to write university scholarship exams

We are helping to build the future leaders of the village of Chuk Muk.

Our goal is to have kind, compassionate, honest and hardworking students.Our first step is to get them an education past elementary school. We are doing this by having our learning centre open to anyone in the village who needs to use a computer with internet, a printer or tutoring help and it is free. We help every student in the Chuk Muk middle school get their supplies and then help with their fees. We find sponsors for the students continuing to high school. All these students are required to give volunteer time helping students in elementary school. In this way they are paying it forward as well as modeling kindness and compassion.

We have found that a university education drastically increases the likelihood of a student having a bright future and bringing their family out of poverty. We presently have 20 students in university studying, agriculture, education, mathematics, music, lab tech, sysyems engineering, business administration and accounting. We however cannot afford to send students to study the more expensive professions like doctor, nurse, nutitionist, civil engineer, physiotherapist. To make these professions possible we are taking the students into Guatemala City to write the exams for the almost free Government university.

Thank you for helping to change lives in a positive way

Lorenza helping a student with math
Lorenza helping a student with math
middle school student getting his supplies
middle school student getting his supplies
Studying music at university
Studying music at university
using the learning centre library
using the learning centre library
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Organization Information

Aldea Maya assistance For Mayan Families Society

Location: Qualicum, BC - Canada
Website:
Project Leader:
Louise Sosa
Qualicum, BC Canada
$17,728 raised of $22,000 goal
 
45 donations
$4,272 to go
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