Brenda wrote this report after the Farmer to Farmer trip to Guatemala in January. It's a nice way to get a more personal view of our scholarship program.
Our scholarship program began 15 year ago when the families of Santiago Atitlan expressed to us their desire for their children to get an education. They talked about the costs and difficulty of sending their children to school and they asked for our help.
Many of these parents didn't have the opportunity to go to school, and if they did they didn't go beyond the 6th grade. At home families only speak their Maya language - Tzu'tujil. School is where they learn Spanish and of course a lot more. Without Spanish it is very hard to move ahead in Guatemala. Please read Brenda's Blog and join us in supporting these wonderful families.
GRATITUDE, THANKFULNESS, APPRECIATION
by Brenda Betz-Stoltz
I look forward to January, as it is the beginning of the school year in Guatemala and time for the annual Farmer to Farmer trip to Santiago Atitlan to pass out the annual scholarships to students. This year the gathering was small and humble compared to the big celebration and party we had last year. It was still a day filled with gratitude. It was held at the home of Francisco and Rosa Esquina with Jody and I as the Farmer to Farmer delegates. We gathered with the scholarship students, their parents, scholarship graduates and also the Weavers’ committee.
Each one of the committee members shared a customary speech full of appreciation for our help and friendship, and a message of encouragement for the students in their new year. Francisco, one of the original weavers, talked about the difficulties in Guatemala for children/ people to get an education. He said, “It is hard and there are many obstacles, but it is not impossible. We should be encouraged by José graduating from college.” We all cheered, knowing he is right, and that he has lived through these hardships.
There were 22 students that received scholarships. We have a new kindergartener and a college graduate. We wish you could have been there with us to experience the appreciation for our support and encouragement. They send their greetings to everyone in Farmer to Farmer.
We are so proud of José! He graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. It was five years for the major and one more year for his thesis. He has hopes of working for a government agency that travels to rural areas and teaches people to farm. He is facing the hard reality that these jobs are difficult to come by - even with a college degree he may have to wait for an opportunity.
Scholarship Day brings such heartfelt thankfulness. We were told that they really do appreciate us believing in them and supporting them to get an education. I sincerely believe we make a difference in their hope for a better tomorrow. Thank you all for your generosity. We could not do this without your support
Below are some photos of the students receiving their scholarship money and school supplies.