This is Oliver, a High School student enrolled in Universidad del Valle de Guatamala (UVG). He is a tenth grader from the town of Buena Vista, Sololá. He has six brothers and sisters. His father is a day laborer living out of the country. Oliver’s mother works without stopping in the farm fields where she earns 25 Q ($3.35) per day to buy food for her six children. Her dream is to continue working to allow her children to advance. Oliver has a great desire to improve his situation. His big dream is to become a doctor and help his mother improve her situation.
Mirna is a young woman from the Community of San Jose Quixaya, near San Lucas Toliman. Her father is a day laborer. Her father commented that there are not many opportunities for employment on the coast. He says it is even worse for a person that has not studied.
Mirna’s mother sometimes finds work cutting coffee on the plantations in order to help with the family economy. She dreams that her daughters will improve their future studying.
Mirna is very focused in her studies. This year she will be in the eleventh grade. She is a respected student in her class because she has good grades. Her dream is to go to the university and have a better future.
Vilma is from the community of Pena Blanca. She is charming, very cheerful and a true dreamer. She is the oldest of eight brothers and sisters. This year, she is in the 12th grade and has earned attendance at a prestigious high school. Her accomplishments are already astonishing despite many challenges in her life. Neither of her parents had an opportunity to go to school. It has not been easy for her to attend school beyond the 6th grade. Her father is diabetic and needs money to buy medicine. He does not have a steady job. Due to her situation Vilma was forced to drop out of school for three years and go to work in Guatemala City making tortillas. While working she always maintained her hope of returning to school. Now that she has the opportunity of being in the scholarship program, she strives to reach her goal of a professional career.
Tomas is a young woman from the rural community of Chaquiya. It is located between forests and fields of corn, flowers and herbs. She is cheerful and very focused. She is the fourth of six sisters. In spite of facing sexual discrimination as a young woman, she is determined to show that women have the capacity to obtain an education and improve their lives. Her dream is to be an English professor or work in tourism. This year she will complete the 10th grade.
Mayra is 1 from the small community of Buena Vista. She is an exceptional girl for many reasons. She has a calm demeanor but she is tenacious. She applies herself and is determined to achieve her goals in spite of everything.
She is the third of six children in her family. Her mother is very talented with weaving in spite of not being able to read or write.
Attending secondary school was something of a challenge for Mayra. She had to face many fears as she transitioned from a small rural school with a half day schedule to a much larger and much more demanding school with a full day schedule in a more urban environment. In spite of these challenges Mayra has really applied herself and earned good grades. In 2018, Mayra will complete the 10th grade. Congratulations Mayra. You are an example of what can happen when a person has faith, works hard and is determined.
- FRANCISCO ALFREDO
Francisco is from the small village of Buena Vista, Solola. He is sixteen years old and lives with an aunt of advanced age, one sister and three brothers. The children are orphans. At this time he is in the third year of junior high in the National Institute of Basic Education of Monte Mercedes. He is an enthusiastic young man with a good personality and a great desire to overcome his difficulties. He is described as being collaborative and counts on the moral support of his brothers and sister. He has many goals for his life, including being a successful professional so that he may help his family and the community. Although he is unable to count on the support of his parents, who died some time ago, his desire to have a better future motivates him to study. His current average in school indicates that he is a good student.
- ANGELA CAROLINA
Ángela is the daughter of a 38 year old farmer and his 34 year old wife who is a housewife and weaver. Ángela is the second oldest of her siblings with three sisters and two brothers. She lives in Barrio Calvario, San Andres Semetabaj, Sololá.
In 2018, Angela will complete the 10th grade. She is very intelligent, hard working and determined. Her dream is to be a veterinarian. She likes very much to help street animals such as cats and dogs.
Ángela helps in the home with housework, caring for the chickens and shelling beans to prepare them for selling. She also helps her siblings with their homework. Ángela wants to be an example for her family and her community that women have the ability to reach their goals. She is sure that the scholarship program will help her to learn a lot.
- OLGA MARINA
Olga dreams of becoming a professional woman. She comes from a humble family in the community of Peña Blanca. Her parents are illiterate; neither had the opportunity to study. In fact, her father is opposed to her studying because she is a girl. However, Olga is very determinate to study in spite of cultural barriers that hold her back; she knows she can improve her life and the future of her family and community through education. This year she will complete the 10th grade.
- 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.