Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Back to School: The First Scholarship Meetings of 2015

Text and photos by Amy Scheuren

Last week Carmen and I kicked off the 2015 Scholarship Program by visiting Chirijquiac and San Juan Ostuncalco, two of Pop Wuj's Scholarship communities.

We piggybacked on the medical program and shared transportation to their mobile clinic on Wednesday in Chirijquiac.  Many of the scholarship families were also patients in the clinic.

Carmen with the parents of the scholarship students in Chirijquiac

Carmen, discussing the importance of having all of the women speak up during the meetings
Three young women from our group graduated from high school in 2014.  Sadly, due to extreme family and economic circumstances, two other students had to drop out of school.  Both of them are now working to support their family.  As a result we had some new faces at the meeting, welcoming four new students to the program.  We also have three other potential new scholarship students in this group.

Neighbors preparing the dry fields for the upcoming rainy season

Dusty but beautiful, Chirijquiac
On Friday Carmen and I traveled to San Juan Ostuncalco for their first scholarship meeting of 2015.  The San Juan group is generally lively and this day was no different.  We discussed how the group is source of support for the mothers and students.  Simply coming together to discuss the latest challenges and triumphs in their families can make such a difference.  We emphasized the collective interest of the group and heard from many of the women as we discussed common superstitions in the community.  The San Juan group continues to consist of 14 scholarship students -- the same 14 as in 2014.  We now have three students in university!  Siguen adelante!

Carmen, facilitating the scholarship meeting

Mothers and children in San Juan

The San Juan Ostuncalco Virgen de Candelaria celebration is going on in town right now. 
I wouldn't trust that Ferris wheel!

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