Monday, April 20, 2015

La Celebración de Pascua!

Text and pictures by Johanne A. Olesen

We celebrated Semana Santa (Holy Week) a week early at the Family Support Center. Guatemalan Lenten and Easter celebrations do not include bunnies, eggs, or the color yellow.  It is much more of a religious celebration, especially for Catholics.

But at the Family Support Center we often mix local and foreign traditions.  Plus the kids love egg hunting and candy.  They have been asking us for weeks when we are going to look for the eggs!

So we boiled around 40 eggs and then all the kids painted one each.  We also made small notes with "Consejos del Conejito," wishes and advice from the Easter Bunny.

Then we hid the eggs and the messages around the playground.  When we came back inside we found about 30 really,  really eager and egg-hunting-hungry kids!  So all that was left was to count down from three, two, one, go!

The hunt was on!

All of the kids found at least one egg and a message before going back inside.  Those who found more than one shared with the children who didn't find any.

Even Doña Delfina, everyone's grandmother and owner of the house where the project is based, read her message from the Easter Bunny.  Hailey, a Pop Wuj student, read hers in English.  Santos, one of the teachers, read his in K'iche', and I had the challenge to read it in Norwegian.

Doña Delfina reading her message
When everyone understood and promised to listen to the message from the Easter Bunny they received a little Easter treat--chocolate!

The Family Support Center was closed for Semana Santa, so after the activity we all wished each other happy holidays and everyone ran home!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Scholarship Meeting in Chirijquiac, March 2015

Text and Photos by Amy Scheuren

In early March, Carmencita and I traveled to Chirijquiac for the monthly Scholarship Program meeting.  We've been rotating the location of the Chirijquiac meeting as much as possible--meeting in various group members' homes so that both Pop Wuj and the group members get to know each other better.  In March we traveled to La Estancia, near Chirijquiac, and met in the home of Doña Angelica Faustina.

As in the other scholarship meetings, we discussed International Women's Day and the situation of women in Guatemala.  We talked about the importance of treating sons and daughters equally, especially in terms of education, food, and chores, and not raising children in households full of machismo.

We will return to Chirijquiac for another scholarship meeting on April 15th with the Pop Wuj Mobile Clinic in tow.  We expect to receive most of the scholarship students' first quarter report cards at that time.