What a trip! We just returned from Guatemala Tuesday, October 23. It was a very successful visit. We made two visits to the primary school in Nimasac. During the first visit, we requested lists of suggested supplies from the two principals (there is one in the morning, and one in the afternoon) that would help the teachers in classrooms. The second trip came after a lengthy shopping expedition in Quetzaltenango to purchase supplies that fulfilled much of the list. We made the presentation to a large group of teachers (there are a total of 17) and explained who we were and our desire to be of assistance to the community and the school. Our Guatemalan partners spoke of the successful scholarship program and its impact in only its first year. Possible skepticism about following through with our offer was eliminated, and they were appreciative of the gifts and interested in our proposal to work with a group based in Guatemala that could offer more coaching and textbooks.
The supplies that we purchased included: a large whiteboard designated for a specific classroom. Copy paper, silicone glue, colored bulletin board paper, erasers, pens, pencils, permanent and washable markers, crayons, and more. School supplies are expensive in Guatemala, likely because many items are imported, but it is best to buy them there and support the local economy. Here’s a photo of the store:
The scholarship program is being administered in Nimasac by a very dedicated group of seven young adults. All the scholarship students and parents were present at the meeting on Wednesday, October 17, and were deeply grateful for being able to participate in the program this first year, and for the gifts that sponsors sent down. We met with each of them in small groups and discussed their experience, and offered them motivation to keep up the good work.
The countdown is on!!!
Friends, we will be heading back to Guatemala on October 16! Two Board members along with four individuals from our partner, Cary Presbyterian Church will be traveling to Nimasac with a full agenda. There is so much to do. Research is a big a part of what we do to support the community’s goals. Currently we are investigating organizations that specialize in literacy as well as teacher-training. With the scholarship program continuing to grow, schools must be prepared. We’ll be meeting with the school principals, delivering school supplies needed for the next school year and planning our future work.
Thank you for making our 2018 annual fund-raiser a success! Our movie, wine and dine evening was a huge success. The turn-out for the showing of Field of Dreams and the Cary Theater was incredible. New and old friends gather for an evening of delicious hors d’oeurves in a packed room! Volunteers prepared the foods and pulled off a baseball themed pre-social so remarkable that attendees were asking over and over again, “Who was your caterer?”
In the theater itself, we showed a 10 minute video about Nimasac, introduced the Board of Directors and shared a bit about the partnership and our desire to assist in making life better in Nimasac through the work of Esperanza.
After the feature film, we passed out boxes of Cracker Jacks with a card reminding folks of the statistics of poverty in the Guatemalan Highlands and the good they are doing by supporting this work. Good-byes were enjoyed.
We’re already thinking about the next event. We’re glad to have brought people together who care about and understand the importance of this work.