Yesterday we handed out our yearly scholarships for the upcoming 2014 school year. They are called “Beccas” here. It filled my heart with joy to think that these children and adults get to improve their lives through education. Over 60% of the indigenous population is illiterate and most of them can not afford to pay for school supplies, books, and uniforms which are required to go to school in Guatemala. For many they end up working with their families in the field’s and taking care of other children. Most do not have an education past the 3rd grade. As you can imagine this has a significant impact on their lives. This year we are able to provide “beccas” for 76 students!
It was a packed house as we talked to them all about the importance of making yourself a better person and making your world a better place. I was asked to share with them a little and I told the story of Abraham Lincoln and how he grew up and had a desire to learn. Many of these children still read by candlelight and live in a one room house similar to Abraham’s upbringing. Who knows if it helped but who knows maybe one of these students will grow up to change things for their country. They all seemed eager to listen and very thankful for the opportunity they were receiving. Noe had several students who had received scholarships in previous years speak and it was a very emotional time as they shared how thankful they were. After being greatly inspired by my speech:) They all filled out paperwork and waited in line to receive their scholarships and get a picture taken.
I got to take pictures with all of them. I loved it! Getting to talk with each student, trying to get them to smile(which is harder than you think), and showing them how beautiful/handsome they are after taking their photo. I really enjoyed it and I was really tired both mentally (from speaking spanish) and physically from standing all day. I have to show you some of my favorites!We had them hold up signs on the first picture and then took a second one without so that we can remember all of their names and match it with their profiles. As you can imagine it’s not easy keeping track of 76 students.Aren’t they so beautiful! I wish you could meet them and hear some of their stories. Most of their stories are difficult to here. I am inspired by them.
We also got to give away a used laptop computer that someone generously donated to the Porch. This was the top student from last year and she was overwhelmed by the gift. If anyone has an old laptop that is still useful laying around. I’m sure we can find a home for it.
It’s not just young children that we help either. Linda who helps at the Porch with our teams and sells on the streets just graduated the 6th grade! So cool to help her achieve her dreams.
These beautiful people and more received scholarships this year. It’s just another reason we are thankful to work with Porch de Salomon.