In Guatemala, education is the best way to secure a stable and flourishing future for oneself and family. It opens so many doors. For many Pokomchi who come from low-income families, they may the first in their family to study. Receiving this education is not an easy task. One must be dedicated and fight for this dream of education. Having someone come alongside you and support you really makes a difference as well. We are blessed to see how God has connected us with some inspiring Pokomchi and how He has worked it all for them to receive this life changing education. Let’s meet some of them!
Vicente is 23 years old. He is from a very remote Pokomchi village. We first met him at 15 years old when he was struggling badly with chronic Asma. He couldn’t even play soccer like the kids his age or go to school. He regained his health from treatment in the chronic patient program and the first thing he did was get to work at finishing his schooling. He didn’t want to continue struggling with little income like he did growing up in his family. He wanted a more stable life. He has worked hard and now is studying to be an accountant. He is the first in his family to get an education like this. It is his dream to do this. It hasn’t been easy for him. He must walk and bus a great distance to San Cristobal where his classes are. He takes any job available to pay for his bus fare and try to pay for his tuition. Sometimes he wouldn’t have extra money to buy a proper meal while studying and would just get by with water and bread. The actual classes for him were hard too. He especially struggled in his math classes, but he just kept on going and working on it. When the pandemic hit, things got tougher. Everything went online. He worked hard to buy internet time to put on his phone and then walked 45 minutes to get cell service. This challenge could have been a reason to not continue studying, but he didn’t let it stop him.
When we heard of his struggles, especially the struggle to pay for his tuition this year, we wanted to help. He was almost the whole year behind in his payments. God used DonorSee to provide the funding for his tuition this year!
When he heard that we would cover the tuition that he owed, he was first speechless. His dream would continue. He then said that those from ASOSAP would be the first ones he would invite to his graduation. He graduates in 2 years but is looking to the future. He is certain that he will graduate. He will keep striving towards this goal. He is a person of change, motivated to receive an education and have a different life for himself and family. He is also a leader and example to others. His younger brother has been watching and he is now studying as well! We look forward to seeing Vicente graduating in the near future and seeing how God shapes him.
Rosa and Rosalia:
They are two young women in their 20s who are a part of PokoMaya. They also are from remote villages and examples in their family of the importance of education. We have seen them many times with a desire to learn through workshops offered through PokoMaya. For example, learning how to use a sewing machine, quilt, embroider, and weave. They then can sell the products they make to provide their families with an income.
Recently they had the opportunity to take a computer course, which helps them connect with this world of technology we live in and promote their PokoMaya products more. This was completely new education for them, but they pushed forward despite their fears!
This is what Rosalia had to say:
“Learning in this computer class gave me great joy. I had never touched a computer before. Now if I need any information, I can go on a computer by myself and find this information. I no longer need anyone to help me with this.”
Rosa was very nervous to take this computer course as she had never used a computer before either, but she wanted to learn. Now she likes using a computer and has the desire to in the future take more advanced computer classes and keep on learning! What a joy to see this change!
The Building My Horizon mothers are women who want to see their children succeed, but also take opportunities available to them for the better of their family. Recently we held a workshop in connection with a well-known and respected Guatemalan vocational institution. It taught many BMH mothers how to make different types of soap, shampoo, and cleaning products. The goal is that they can make these products for their families and contribute to their family’s income through selling these products. Some of these women have challenges such as low education level and inability to read, but they all successfully completed the weeklong workshop!
Let’s hear from two of the BMH mothers:
“First, I thank God for allowing me to participate in this workshop. Thank you to those of you who gave me the opportunity to be in this education. It is a very good course. The learning has been very useful to me in how to start making different types of soaps. It has been a very beautiful experience. We now know how to, one day in the future, produce our own soaps. We have knowledge in what to use/ not use in our soaps. If God wills, one day we can produce our own soaps and sell them at an artisanal fair for example.”
“I feel happy attending this workshop. Thank you for making this education a reality for me and helping me reach this goal. I learned how to make soap, shampoo, and cleaning products. Through this knowledge, I can have an income for my family.”
With Vicente, Rosa, Rosalia, and the BMH mothers, the impact does not end with them. They are great examples for their siblings, children, friends, and neighbors. Anyone they cross paths with will be inspired by them to continue in education. This is a change that will empower for generations.
We give thanks to you for partnering with them through education. With God, ASOSAP, and you, they have a great team around them, cheering them on to keep on pushing forward. We are excited for their futures and of the Pokomchi as a whole.