- VIVIANA JOSEFINA
Viviana is from the village of San Antonio Polopó and is the daughter of Vicente, a day laborer, and Juana, who is a housewife. Viviana is the eldest of six children. She counts on the moral support of her family; however, the lack of economic resources impedes her ability to continue studying. She is a very good student with good grades and is responsible. She also has a good personality. Her dream is to be a good teacher to help her family and her community.
- LUZ EMILIA VIRGINIA
Luz is from the hamlet of Vasconcelos in the district of Xajaxac, Sololá. She is nineteen years old. Four years ago her mother passed away, leaving Luz, her older brother and two younger siblings as orphans. The house where Luz lives lacked electricity and drinking water. Six months ago, Luz and her younger brother Victor decided to go live in Sololá with their mother’s Aunt Juana, who is seventy-seven. Because of the lack of economic resources and also because of having to take care of her siblings, Luz had decided not to continue learning. However, with her enthusiasm and desire to overcome, she has returned to her studies. She is a young lady with a good personality who is respectful, friendly and responsible. Her dream is to be a good doctor so that she can help others.
- JOSE PABLO
José is from the village of Monte Mercedes, Sololá. He is the son of José, a street shoe vendor and Floridalma, who is employed as a domestic worker. Jose is the second child of the family. He has an older sister Yenifer, who is eighteen, and a younger sister Elizabeth, who is eleven. José’s family does not have a house of their own due to scarce economic resources; however, this is not a limitation for José, who seeks to follow his dreams. José has many strengths, including his perseverance, his personality, his responsibility and his desire to overcome his obstacles. His favorite subject is math, and he likes to spend his time helping his family or drawing. His dream is to be an architect to help his family and the community.
- DOLORES ANGELICA
Dolores is from the village of Santiago Atitlán. Her mother Maria is a craftswoman. Her father Juan is illiterate and is a street vendor. Dolores is the oldest of three children. She has a sister Mayra, nine years of age and a brother Juan who is six. She is a great student with good grades who counts on the moral support of her family. Her big dream is to be a tourist guide. With her dedication and good personality she will be able to succeed in all that she undertakes.
- CARLOS DAVID
Carlos is the son of Domingo and Cecilia, both of whom are illiterate. Domingo is a farmer and Cecilia is a housewife. Both are from the hamlet of Peña Blanca, Sololá. Carlos comes from a large family and is the second to last child in a family of six sisters and three brothers, who have only been able to complete primary education, at most up through sixth grade, due to the lack of economic resources. In spite of that lack, Carlos dreams of graduating so that he can help his family and the community. Carlos has many strengths: his personality, his enthusiasm and his self-confidence that will help him achieve all that he attempts.
- BEVERLY ANGELES VIVIANA
Beverly is twelve years old and is from the town of Panajachel, Sololá. She is the daughter of Nora Marivel, who is illiterate and a single mother. Beverly has one younger sister Madelin, who is seven years old. Beverly’s family does not have their own house. The mother is employed as a domestic worker and does crafts to help defray her expenses as well as to pay for the weekly rental of their dwelling. Beverly is a good student and has a good personality. She dreams of getting a law degree, with the moral support of her mother who helps her unconditionally. With her good attitude, she will be able to succeed in achieving her dreams.
- ALVARO ALEXANDER
Alvaro is twelve years old and is from the hamlet of Peña Blanca, Sololá. He is the son of Martina, who is a housewife and Pedro, who is a farmer. Both are illiterate. Alvaro is the youngest of three brothers and two sisters. He is a young man with a nice personality. His favorite subjects are artistic expression and math. His big dream is to be an architect, however, because of the instability of the work situation for his parents, they are not able to manage the costs of their son’s education. Despite few resources, Alvaro has demonstrated his desire to overcome his obstacles and to continue studying by maintaining a high average.
- ANDREA KAROLINA
Andrea is from Buena Vista and is attending her first year of middle school (6th grade) in the neighboring community of Monte Mercedes. She is the oldest of four children in her family. Her father is a day-laborer, and her mother cares for the home.
Due to a lack of recourses, Andrea was not able to enroll in school at the beginning of the year despite the fact that she showed great academic potential. However, in March, Forjando Mi Mañana (FORMA – Guatemala) became aware of her situation and offered her a scholarship. She began her studies in Middle School at that time. Her goal is to become a teacher; she shows great dedication and perseverance. This continued support, she will one day reach her goal.
Eimy comes from the Hamlet of Canoas Altas in the municipality of San Andres Semetabaj, Solola. She lives with her parents, Dona Vilma and Don Eduardo along with two younger brothers, Andy and Jose. Eimy’s mother sells snacks on the public beach in Panajachel during weekends; she struggles to provide education, health care, food and clothing for her children since that is the only income the family has.
Eimy is an earnest student; her grades are very good. She has an amiable personality and the desire to excel despite the obstacles present in her life. To attend school, Eimy has a daily commute that includes a long walk to catch a crowded mini bus for several miles of travel to the Education Center. Nevertheless, she is determined to succeed since she has a clear goal for her life. Her big dream is to become a doctor in order to be able to help others as well as her family. With her dedication, strength and perseverance, she will succeed in achieving her dreams.
Manuela is from the municipality of Santa Catarina Polopo, Solola. She is in eighth grade and lives with her mother and her two sisters Angelica and Nicolasa. Her father passed away, and her mother works long hours to sustain the family by selling clothing. Manuela makes textiles and bracelets in order to help her mother with the family’s income. Although Manuela has a great desire to overcome her challenges, her mother is her only means of support. Manuela is a leader with a good personality. Her favorite subjects are language and communication. Her dream is to become a secretary so that she may be able to help her mother and her sisters. With her strength and dedication, she will be able to achieve her goals in life.
- EDGAR ESTUARDO
Edgar, who is in eighth grade this year, comes from the community of Peña Blanca, Solola. He is an enthusiastic young person and has a lot of potential. He is a good student – his favorite subjects are math and drawing – and counts on the moral support of his family. Edgar lives with his mother, a housewife, and with his father, a day laborer and farmer. Edgar has six sisters and two other brothers. Because Edgar’s parents earn little, there is not enough income to pay all of their expenses. Edgar, therefore, is obligated to work in the Capital (Guatemala city) in order to help his parents. Nevertheless, with a great desire to overcome these challenges and continue his studies, he searches for an opportunity to achieve his dreams. With the potential, interest and will power that he has, Edgar will be able to realize his dreams and goals in life.
- SERGIO ISRAEL
Sergio is from Tzancorral, a rural area of the municipality of San Antonio Polopo, Solola. He lives with his maternal grandparents, who are both of advanced age, as well as his aunts and uncles. His mother died eleven years ago and his father abandoned the family when Sergio was little. Sergio also has a sister, who is likewise the responsibility of their grandparents, aunts and uncles. Sergio is an enthusiastic youth with a lot of energy and the will to overcome. His favorite subject is math. He has two possible goals in life: one is to be an expert accountant and the other is to be a computer technician. By achieving either of these goals, he would be able to help his grandparents and the community. He believes that with his charisma and his dedication to the fulfillment of his obligations, he will be able to be successful in his efforts.
- YOSELIN JOHANA
Yoselin is from the area of San Andres Semetabaj, Solola. In 2018, she will be in the eighth grade. She lives with her mother, who does domestic work and sells snacks and fruit to schoolchildren in her community. Her father is a day laborer. Yoselin is the oldest of three daughters. Her sisters are Rubi, age 10, and Marta, age 3. She is an enthusiastic young person and a good student with much potential, who counts on the moral support of her family. Her greatest challenge is not having sufficient economic resources; however, she has an enormous desire to overcome that challenge and to help her family live in better conditions. She has two possible goals: one is to be a teacher in order to educate the boys and girls of her community; the other is to be a doctor who can help to heal the sick. She thinks that, with the help of her family and her enthusiasm, she will be able to be successful.
Rodolfo comes from the municipality of San Antonio Polopo, a beautiful town near Panajachel, where the townspeople are dedicated to farming and making handcrafts. Many of the children and adolescents begin their work doing those things as well; as a result, statistics show that many lag behind in their education. Rodolfo, who is in the eighth grade, lives with his parents. His mother does domestic work and also makes bracelets. His father is a construction helper. Rodolfo has two brothers, sixteen-year-old Edgar and nine-year-old Fredy. Rodolfo is of Mayan (Kaqchikel) ethnicity. His favorite subject is math in which he does well. Rodolfo is determined to graduate from a university with a degree so that he may help his family and the community. He believes that with his effort, dedication, and perseverance he will be able to achieve each of his dreams.
- MARIA ANGELICA
Maria is in the ninth grade; she lives in Buena Vista, Sololá with her parents and younger siblings. Her parents do not read or write or speak Spanish, they communicate in a local dialect. Maria’s father is elderly and in poor health; he is not able to contribute to the support of the family. Her mother works in the nearby agricultural fields with the neighbors to feed the family. Maria faces cultural as well as family challenges to continue her studies. She has the daily responsibility of preparing the family meals (from scratch, on a wood stove) while her mom is working in the fields. Despite these obligations at home, she has great intellectual capacity and potential coupled with a good spirit to continue the struggle to become a doctor and help not only her family but also her community.
- CARLOS ENRIQUE
Carlos is from the town of Peña Blanca, Sololá. He is the youngest of five children and is the first to have the opportunity to advance past the 6th grade in his education. This year he will complete the 9th grade. His siblings are happy that he is able to continue his studies. Both his mother and father are illiterate and speak a local dialect, Kachiquel, and a little Spanish. They are very excited that at least one of their children will have the opportunity to have a profession.
Carlos works with his father in the fields when free, but reports that it is tiring and hard to spend all day, every day working in the fields. Also the harvest can be bad from either too much or not enough rain. At other times, when the harvest is good, the competition in the market leaves the farmers with little profit. The dream of Carlos is to be a professional, to have a nice house and a good future because there is not a future working in the fields.
Johana lives in Barrio San Bartolo,Sololá; she has one sister and two brothers. Her father works in Guatemala City as a sales clerk in a store. Her mother prepares snacks to sell in a school in Sololá. Both parents struggle to provide for their family and dream that their children will have better opportunities than them. Jhoana Mishel helps her mother sell the snacks. Although she is just in the ninth grade this year, she still dreams of being a lawyer and helping change the situation of her family.
- MARIA ELENA
Maria is from the town of Monte Mercedes, Sololá. This year, she will complete the 9th grade. Her greatest longing is to study. Her parents never went to school and they cannot speak Spanish. There are nine children in the family. Maria will be the first to advance past sixth grade. An older sister left to Guatemala City to work, but she soon died and Maria wants to avoid that situation. Arranged marriages are common in the town of Monte Mercedes, and she fears that at any moment, another family may appear asking for her to marry their son. Maria does not want to marry young. She is excited to continue studying and to be able to follow a career that will allow her to make a difference in the lives of her mother and siblings.
- MAYERLI ROSIBEL
Mayerli lives in the neighborhood of Xejuyu II in the town of San Andres Semetabaj, Sololá. She comes from a large family of 11 children, and most of them have not had the opportunity to advance beyond elementary school. Her father works as a temporary day laborer, and her mother is a stay-at-home housewife. She earns some money as a weaver of traditional Mayan fabrics. Mayerli is excited to study, to become a professional woman, and to avoid marrying very young, as her sisters have done. She says that she very much wants to take advantage of this great opportunity. This year she is in the ninth grade.
- OLGA LETICIA
Olga is originally from the community of San Bartolo, Solola. Her father works as a seasonal day laborer. Her mother comes out to wash clothes with the neighbors and help with the household economy. Olga helps her mother complete this work in order to earn a little more money also. However her big dream is to continue studying in order to move forward. This year she is studying in the ninth grade. Olga says to not go to school leaves few opportunities for achievement in life. She dreams of many opportunities in order to be able to change the direction of her life.
- SILVIA SELENA
Silvia is from Monte Mercedes, Sololá and comes from a family where her mother is the head of the household. Her father disappeared some years ago and his disappearance is a mystery. Her sisters did not have the opportunity to go to school beyond the 6th grade. Her sisters work as domestics in the capital. Although her sisters did not have the opportunity to continue in school, they support Silvia because they believe in her potential and do not want her to have a life like theirs.
Silvia is extraordinarily focused in her studies. She was the best of her class in 6th grade and her big dream is to go to university and support her mother to improve her life condition. This year she will complete the 9th grade.
- NAYELY ROSA LINDA
Nayely is the oldest of three sisters. Her mother, Herminia Estela takes care of the home and sells specialty breads (banana, carrot, etc.) to support the family in several nearby towns. Her husband has abandoned the family.
Nayely is from the small village of Canoas Altas near to San Andrés Semetabaj. This year she will complete the ninth grade. To reach school each day, she walks 15 minutes to the highway and then waits for a microbus that takes her to San Andrés. She hopes to be a doctor and be able to help people – and also her mother with support for the family.
Nayely is a friendly, intelligent, respectful and enthusiastic young lady who is ready to learn new things. Her mother is illiterate because she lacked the opportunity to attend school and in spite of the economic burden, wants her daughter to study. With great optimism, Nayely wants to set an example and be the pride of her family. She is very happy to have a scholarship.
Lidia is from Monte Mercedes, Sololá and is the third of seven children in the home. Her father is a farm worker and her mother is a domestic worker. Neither got the chance to learn to read or write. During the school vacation months of November and December, Lidia works making tortillas by hand in a tortillaria to help the family economically. This year, she is in the 7th grade and is enthusiastic to continue her studies. Her favorite subject is math and she hopes to be a teacher upon graduation.
- DANIEL SALOMON
Daniel is from Panajachel. He is an enthusiastic student who will complete seventh grade this year. His mother is a domestic worker. His father is a day laborer. Daniel is the younger of two brothers. His plan is to dedicate himself to his studies and graduate a professional in a field to be chosen later.
- ANGELA CANDELARIA
Angela is from Santa Catarina Palopo and is the youngest of six children. Her father is a farmworker and her mother is a weaver of indigenous textiles. Neither of her parents are able to read or write. Angela is an enthusiastic student with goals and purpose for her future. She will complete the seventh grade this year.
- ANA ISABEL
Ana is from Santa Catarina Palopo. Her father is a fruit vendor and her mother is a domestic worker. Both parents are from Santa Catarina and never learned to read and write. Ana is the sixth of eight children. She started school at 10 years of age instead of 6 because resources were scarce in her family. She is now in the seventh grade. With her good study habits, she is doing quite well. She likes math, and her goal is to graduate as an accountant. Ana Isabel is very intelligent, respectful and has a fun personality. She hopes to be able to help her family economically.
- SOFIA MARICEL
Sofia is from Chicacao Suchitepequez, and is the fifth of seven children. Ten years ago, her parents decided to move to Panajachel for better opportunities in employment and education. Her father cleans river sand for construction; her mother is a domestic worker. They rent a house in Panajachel. This year, Sofia will complete the seventh grade. Her favorite subject is natural sciences and her goal is to be a doctor.