Eimy comes from the Hamlet of Canoas Altas in the municipality of San Andres Semetabaj, Solola. She is twelve years old and lives with her parents, Dona Vilma Ajcalon, age 34 and her father Don Eduardo Reyes Morales Coxolca, age 38 and two younger brothers, Andy, age 10, and Jose, age 6. Eimy’s mother sells snacks on the public beach in Panajachel during weekends; she struggles to provide education, health care, food and clothing for her children since that is the only income the family has.
Eimy is an earnest student; her grades are very good. She has an amiable personality and the desire to excel despite the obstacles present in her life. To attend school, Eimy has a daily commute that includes a long walk to catch a crowded mini bus for several miles of travel to the Education Center. Nevertheless, she is determined to succeed since she has a clear goal for her life. Her big dream is to become a doctor in order to be able to help others as well as her family. With her dedication, strength and perseverance, she will succeed in acheiving her dreams.
Manuela is from the municipality of Santa Catarina Polopo, Solola. She is twelve years old and lives with her mother and her two sisters, eight-year-old Angelica and six-month-old Nicolasa. Her father has passed away; as a result, her mother works to sustain the family by selling clothing. Manuela makes textiles and bracelets in order to help her mother with the family’s income. Although Manuela has a great desire to overcome her challenges, her mother is her only means of support. Manuela is a leader with a good personality. Her favorite subjects are language and communication. Her dream is to become a secretary so that she may be able to help her mother and her sisters. With her strength and dedication, she will be able to achieve her goals in life.
- 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.
Emerson is twelve years old and lives with his parents in the community of Monte Mercedes, Solola. His mother and father both sell fruit and other items in the streets so his family has scarce economic resources; nevertheless, Emerson’s parents struggle from day to day to get ahead. Emerson is the third child in his family; he has five sisters and two brothers. Their grandmother, who is of advanced age, lives with the family as well. Emerson is a youth with great charisma who counts on the moral support of his family. However, the lack of economic resources is a limitation in the pursuit of his studies. His life goal is to be a professional who can help his family and the community. He knows that with effort and dedication he can achieve that goal.
- EDGAR ESTUARDO
Edgar is twelve years old and comes from the community of Peña Blanca, Solola. He is an enthusiastic young person and has a lot of potential. He is a good student – his favorite subjects are math and drawing – and counts on the moral support of his family. Edgar lives with his mother, a housewife, and with his father, a day laborer and farmer. Edgar has six sisters and two other brothers. Because Edgar’s parents earn little, there is not enough income to pay all of their expenses. Edgar, therefore, is obligated to work in the Capital (Guatemala city) in order to help his parents. Nevertheless, with a great desire to overcome these challenges and continue his studies, he searches for an opportunity to achieve his dreams. With the potential, interest and will power that he has, Edgar will be able to realize his dreams and goals in life.
- SERGIO ISRAEL
Sergio is from Tzancorral, a rural area of the municipality of San Antonio Polopo, Solola. He lives with his maternal grandparents, who are both of advanced age, as well as his aunts and uncles. His mother died eleven years ago and his father abandoned the family when Sergio was little. Sergio also has a sister, who is likewise the responsibility of their grandparents, aunts and uncles. Sergio is an enthusiastic youth with a lot of energy and the will to overcome. His favorite subject is math. He has two possible goals in life: one is to be an expert accountant and the other is to be a computer technician. By achieving either of these goals, he would be able to help his grandparents and the community. He believes that with his charisma and his dedication to the fulfillment of his obligations, he will be able to be successful in his efforts.
- YOSELIN JOHANA
Yoselin is from the area of San Andres Semetabaj, Solola. She is twelve years old and lives with her mother, who does domestic work and sells snacks and fruit to schoolchildren in her community. Her father is a day laborer. Yoselin is the oldest of three daughters. Her sisters are Rubi, age 10, and Marta, age 3. She is an enthusiastic young person and a good student with much potential, who counts on the moral support of her family. Her greatest challenge is not having sufficient economic resources; however, she has an enormous desire to overcome that challenge and to help her family live in better conditions. She has two possible goals: one is to be a teacher in order to educate the boys and girls of her community; the other is to be a doctor who can help to heal the sick. She thinks that, with the help of her family and her enthusiasm, she will be able to be successful.
Rodolfo comes from the municipality of San Antonio Polopo, a beautiful town near Panajachel, where the townspeople are dedicated to farming and making handcrafts. Many of the children and adolescents begin their work doing those things as well; as a result, statistics show that many lag behind in their education. Rodolfo is thirteen years old, and he lives with his parents. His mother does domestic work and also makes bracelets. His father is a construction helper. Rodolfo has two brothers, sixteen-year-old Edgar and nine-year-old Fredy. Rodolfo is of Mayan (Kaqchikel) ethnicity. His favorite subject is math in which he does well. Rodolfo is determined to graduate from a university with a degree so that he may help his family and the community. He believes that with his effort, dedication, and perseverance he will be able to achieve each of his dreams.
- 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. Olga is 13 years old and in her 8th year of school.
- MARIA ANGELICA
Maria is 12 years old and lives in Buena Vista, Sololá with her parents and younger siblings. Her parents do not read or write or speak Spanish, they communicate in a local dialect. Maria’s father is elderly and infirmed and is not able to contribute to the support of the family. Her mother works in the surrounding fields with the neighbors to feed the family. Maria faces cultural as well as family challenges to continue her studies. She has the daily responsibility of preparing the family meals (from scratch on a wood stove) while her mom is working in the fields. Despite these obligations at home, she has great intellectual capacity and potential coupled with a good spirit to continue the struggle to become a doctor and help not only her family but also her community.
Alicia is 12 years old. Her spirit of self-improvement is very large and that makes her a non-conformist. She asked her mother to support her to continue in the 7th grade. She comes from a family that is semi-disintegrated. The father has little interest in the family and spends time with them off and on. Alicia prefers that her father is not at home because he is a very violent man with her mother and brothers. She has 6 brothers and sisters. Her older brother no longer goes to school. He did not have the opportunity to do it and now his life consists of working as a laborer removing construction materials from the river. Alicia says that it is a very hard job but there are no other options. When Alicia has time she goes to sell used items on the street with her mother. She dreams a lot to learn English and have a profession in order to help her mother exit from poverty.
- CARLOS ENRIQUE
Carlos is a 13-year-old young man 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. 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.
Johana is 12 years old and lives in Barrio San Bartolo,Sololá; she has one sister and two brothers. Her father works in Guatemala City as a sales clerk in a store. Her mother prepares snacks to sell in a school in Sololá. Both parents struggle to provide for their family and dream that their children will have better opportunities than them. Jhoana Mishel helps her mother sell the snacks and dreams of being a lawyer and helping change the situation of her family.
- MARIA ELENA
Maria is from the town of Monte Mercedes, Sololá and she is 12 years old. Her greatest longing is to study. Her parents never went to school and they cannot speak Spanish. There are nine children in the family. Maria will be the first to advance past sixth grade. An older sister left to Guatemala City to work, but she soon died and Maria wants to avoid that situation. Arranged marriages are common in the town of Monte Mercedes, and she fears that at any moment, another family may appear asking for her to marry their son. Maria does not want to marry young. She is excited to continue studying and to be able to follow a career that will allow her to make a difference in the lives of her mother and siblings.
- MAYERLI ROSIBEL
Mayerli is a 12-year-old who lives in the neighborhood of Xejuyu II in the town of San Andres Semetabaj, Sololá. She comes from a large family of 11 children, and most of them have not had the opportunity to advance beyond elementary school. Her father works as a temporary day laborer, and her mother is a stay-at-home housewife. She earns some money as a weaver of traditional Mayan fabrics. Mayerli is excited to study, to become a professional woman, and to avoid marrying very young, as her sisters have done. She says that she very much wants to take advantage of this great opportunity.
- OLGA LETICIA
Olga is 12 years old and is originally from the community of San Bartolo, Solola. Her father works as a seasonal day laborer. Her mother comes out to wash clothes with the neighbors and help with the household economy. Olga helps her mother complete this work in order to earn a little more money also. However her big dream is to continue studying in order to move forward. Olga says to not go to school leaves few opportunities for achievement in life. She dreams of many opportunities in order to be able to change the direction of her life.
This is Oliver Tzay Cuxilic a 12-year-old boy from the town of Buena Vista, Sololá. He has six brothers and sisters. His father is a day laborer who unfortunately suffers from alcoholism and this affects the family wellbeing. 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.
- SILVIA SELENA
Silvia is from Monte Mercedes, Sololá and comes from a family where only her mother is the head of the household. Her father disappeared some years ago and his disappearance is a mystery. Due to this her sisters did not have the opportunity to go to school beyond the 6th grade. Her sisters work as domestics in the capital. Although her sisters did not have the opportunity to continue in school, they support Silvia because they believe in her potential and do not want her to have a life like theirs.
Silvia is extraordinarily focused in her studies. She was the best of her class in 6th grade and her big dream is to go to university and support her mother to improve her life condition.
- NAYELY ROSA LINDA
Nayely, 13 years old, is the oldest of three sisters. Her mother, Herminia Estela, 28, takes care of the home and sells specialty breads (banana, carrot, etc.) to support the family in several nearby towns. Her husband has abandoned the family.
Nayely is from the small village of Canoas Altas near to San Andrés Semetabaj. She is in her first year of junior high at the Instituto Nacional de Education Basico and attends afternoon classes. To reach school each day, she walks 15 minutes to the highway and then waits for a microbus that takes her to San Andrés. She hopes to be a doctor and be able to help people – and also her mother with support for the family.
Nayely is a friendly, intelligent, respectful and enthusiastic young lady who is ready to learn new things. Her mother is illiterate because she lacked the opportunity to attend school and in spite of the economic burden, wants her daughter to study. With great optimism, Nayely wants to set an example and be the pride of her family. She is very happy to have a scholarship.
- ÁNGELICA CAROLINA
Ángela, 14 years old, is the daughter of Reyes Baltzar Muj Coroxon, 38, farmer and Lilana Margarita Ratzan Xovin, 34, housewife and weaver. Ángela is the oldest sister of three sisters and two brothers, the second overall. She lives in Barrio Calvario, San Andres Semetabaj, Sololá. Presently she is in the second year of junior high and is attending afternoon classes at the Instituto Mixto de Educacion Basica Cooperativa (IMBASAS.) 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.