Summer 2015 Newsletter
Since Bruce isn't visiting mid-year, he asked Carmen, our new Director, to prepare a letter to you, which Bruce has translated (The italicized portions are Bruce’s comments.) In the near future Carmen hopes to be able to write to donors directly in English, as she is studying the language
Centro Educativo Parroquial Anexo IGER
San Andrés Sajcabajá, Quiché, Guatemala
I am sending you a cordial greeting hoping that you have success in all you undertake day to day.
The reason for my letter is to thank you very much for the valuable help you have been offering to our community through our education program. I would like to tell you a little about the functioning of the program.
We have 90 students, the majority of whom are from different rural communities, some one, two or three hours on foot. (San Andres, where the school is located is a town of about 3000 surrounded by even more remote hamlets, typically of only a few families) Most of the time they cannot find a ride. We have fifth and sixth graders as well as seventh, eighth and ninth graders. Each group receives classes three times a week. Some receive classes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, others Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and others take classes on Fridays. We work in this way because our girls help their mothers around the house (taking care of their younger siblings, preparing food, cleaning etc.), our boys help their fathers in the fields and in some cases the girls also help with this work (planting corn, beans, tomatoes, etc.). Each student receives a plate of rice and beans for lunch when they have classes because the majority of the students do not eat breakfast and return home late, the schedule of classes being from 8am-2pm.
We are two female and three male teachers: Marcial Ortiz who is in charge of math I, II and III, natural science in 9th grade; Carlos Ixcuna who is in charge of communication and language (Spanish) I and II, music and the K’iche language, Luis Medrano who is in charge of math I, Spanish III and 9th grade development and productivity, Asuncion Castro who gives the classes to the 6th graders also social studies and Spanish in 7th grade. I, Carmen Medrano, am in charge of the administration of the school and also give classes in typing and art. We also have a cook, Manuela Cahuil, in charge of preparing lunch (rice, beans and a drink) for the students.
Each year the students in 6th and 9th grade participate in an “Olympics” that IGER organizes. The two students from each of the two grades with the best grades in Math and Spanish participate. There are 4 stages to the competition. The first stage is in San Andres (where our school is located), the second is in Santa Cruz (the provinicial capital), the third stage is in Quetzaltenango (Guatemala’s second largest city) and the fourth is in the national capital, Guatemala City. In 2012 one of our students won first place at the national level.
We have a group of scholarship recipients attending other schools who need financial help because the situation of each one is different. There are some that have no mother or father or whose fathers do not support them. There are other scholarship recipients who are extremely poor with little opportunity to study because their parents have no source of income. When they can find work they pool their money for the essentials of the family and do not have enough for the education of their children.
We are very grateful for the donations and support of each one of you. It has helped each of us greatly. The majority of the students that have studied in the past now have a professional career and work in different areas. And those that are in the program now are working hard and although we know it is not easy for them it is not impossible. Each one of them dream of being able to study and to be able to do something professional to help their family financially and to improve the situation in which they live.
I hope God will bless you greatly because although you have not been here you contribute greatly to the development of the little communities from which the students come and the parents and prior students are grateful for the valuable help that you so kindly give year after year. Muchas Gracias!!!
Carmen Vidalia Medrano Yac