- JOSUE ALVARO
Josue is an inspirational teenager; he is only 15 years old and one of 9 children. He and his siblings are orphans and live with their 65 year old Aunt and her older sister. Josue is helping in the school library in Buena Vista, in the afternoons he studies and on Saturdays he volunteers as a tutor in his community. He is smart, very polite, and cooperative young man.
Florinda is a beautiful girl who in spite of her poor situation is very determined to have a profession. After her 6th year of school, her parents informed her that she could not study anymore; like her older sister, she would have to go to the capital to work in a tortilleria. Their plan for her was to earn some money for a year and then study a year later. However, Florinda was doubtful about her future as a student – she had seen many similar situations where the girls never go back and study. Nevertheless, she went to the capital to work. Several weeks after high school had started again, she decided to return to Buena Vista and look for a scholarship. After an impromptu interview with FORMA GUATEMALA founder, Candelaria Xep, conducted in the streets of Buena Vista, Florinda is studying in grade 8 and on Saturdays she serves as a tutor to 15 children in Buena Vista.
Mirna is a youth of 14 years and is from the Community of San Jose Quixaya, near San Lucas Toliman. Her father is a day laborer. Her father commented that there are not many opportunities for employment on the coast. He says it is even worse for a person that has not studied.
The mother sometimes goes to cut coffee on the farms in order to help with the family economy. She dreams that her daughters will improve their future studying. Mirna is very focused in her studies. She is a featured student in her class because she has good grades. Her dream is to go to the university and have a better future.
Vilma is from the community of Pena Blanca. She is charming, a dreamer and very cheerful. She is 18 years old and is the oldest of eight brothers and sisters. She is in her third year of Basic (9th grade) this year and she has had many challenges in her life. Neither of her parents had an opportunity to go to school. It has not been easy for her to attend school beyond the 6th grade. Her father is diabetic and needs money to buy medicine. He does not have a steady job. Due to her situation Vilma was forced to drop out of school for three years and go to work in Guatemala City making tortillas. While working she always maintained her hope of returning to school. Now that she has the opportunity of being in the scholarship program, she strives to reach her goal of a professional career.
Tomas is a young person from the rural community of Chaquiya. It is located between forests and fields of corn, flowers and herbs. She is cheerful and very focused. She is the fourth of six sisters. In spite of facing sexual discrimination as a young woman, she is determined to show that women have the capacity to obtain an education and improve their lives. Her dream is to be an English professor or work in tourism.
Mayra is 14 years old and from the small community of Buena Vista. She is an exceptional girl for many reasons. She has a calm demeanor but she is tenacious. She applies herself and is determined to achieve her goals in spite of everything.
She is the third of six children in her family. Her mother is very talented with weaving in spite of not being able to read or write.
This has been a year of many challenges for Mayra. She has gone from a small rural school with a half day schedule to a much larger school with a full day schedule in a more urban environment. In spite of these challenges Mayra has really applied herself and earned good grades the first quarter of the school year. Congratulations Mayra. You are an example of what can happen when a person has faith, works hard and is determined.