Meet Nery Reymer Mejia Ruiz from the School in San Andrés

Nery Reymer Mejia Ruiz


Dear Friends and Supporters:

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The 2017 school year will end in San Andres on October 26. I’ll be attending the clausura, the school year closing ceremonies, along with Steve Barrett, our master teacher-consultant, who has led 6 or 7 workshops for our teachers again this year.

I asked Carmen to invite one of our students, Nery Ruiz, to introduce himself to all of you by describing his life and dreams. His response follows along with some photos.

My name is Nery Reymer Mejia Ruiz.  I was born December 1, 1999 at 3 o’clock in the morning. (Many of our students don’t know their date of birth, let alone the time!) I am in 9th grade and live in the parish of San Andres in a small community called Tierra Caliente (Hot Land) and previously called Nim Kak or a Place of Fire by older people who speak only K’iche (the indigenous language spoken in the area).  I am Mestizo and I speak Spanish (Nery’s Spanish is relatively strong, it appears. Spanish proficiency is a weakness for many of our students. Thankfully, our teachers speak K’iche).  I have 5 siblings and one brother who has died.  My father works as a farmhand and my mother takes care of the home.  

The most important moment in my life was when my nephew was born.  I was present at the birth and the truth is it was a very precious moment because we were able to see a new life beginning. You cannot describe how marvelous is the power of God- we are given life and none of us knows when we will come into the world or the hour of our death.  

My most difficult moment was when my brother, Degner,  died at age 19.  I was 14 years old at the time.  It was and is very difficult. We had to go live in a unfamiliar place with people we did not know.  I was separated from my friends who I had been close to all through my childhood. There are no words to express how I felt, but it is this same sadness that motivated me to better my life.

 My favorite pastime is riding my bicycle because it keeps me healthy, although sometimes there are crashes But with every crash I learn and do not commit the same error a second time.  My dream is to graduate one day and secure work that helps my family have a better life.  It is for this reason I continue with my studies. I think I have the chance of moving on from working in the fields where you can earn only a small amount. I look forward to graduating and having the experience of assuming whatever responsibilities my work will involve.  

The difficulties that have found me have greatly affected me. For a majority of students the biggest challenge is the economy because sometimes our parents are not able to give us the necessities. We walk more than an hour and half to school and leave home very early in the morning without eating and during the rainy season, because there is no bridge, sometimes it is very risky to cross the river.

A dream I have for the future is to own a store that sells motorcycle parts so I can help my parents.   

I chose to study at IGER (this is the acronym used to identify the course of study our school follows) because I live far from school and by studying 3 days per week (we increased the program from 2 to 3 days per week this year) I am available to help my father in the fields and because IGER does not require that my family pay a huge amount.  One of my goals this year was to be selected for the school soccer team and help us win a trophy for the first time. This was very exciting for all of us. We invited other teams to play and won and lost. We were also able to travel to a place called Rijuyup (perhaps 2 hours away by bus) to play, accompanied by the teachers and our friends from 7th and 8th grade and also from high school, where we won the trophy.

We’ll send all of you a year-end update after the clausura.

Warm regards,

Bruce Martin



Margaret Dixon