Maya Jaguar Graduation - 2023
There is no greater joy than to see our students thrive and express enthusiasm about their education. They recognize that graduating from Maya Jaguar Technical Institute gives them the freedom to choose careers that bring personal fulfillment, rewarding futures, and greater salaries, than they could find without diplomas. This freedom was hard-earned by the students through their own daily commitment to their education — particularly in recent years. The Covid-19 pandemic and Guatemala's strict two-year lockdown greatly affected the Maya students’ ability to pursue their education. Enrollment in Maya Jaguar decreased from 37 students in 2019 to only 16 students in 2021.
These 16 students and their teachers had to master virtual learning through cell phones provided by Adopt-a-Village. Even with the technology needed to continue their education, our students still made tremendous sacrifices just to learn. They often rose early to hike clear to the tops of mountains or balance precariously in tall trees to receive decent internet connections. That tenacity came from a deeply intrinsic connection to the joy and benefits of learning.
Fortunately, the Maya young people are resilient and, after lockdowns were eliminated, they have been motivated to return in overwhelming numbers to Maya Jaguar. From 16 students in 2021, to 37 students in 2023, we are delighted to report that the 2024 enrollment is projected to be 50 students! And no more hikes to tops of mountains or climbing trees for internet connectivity, now those activities can be enjoyed for exercise and fresh air, not class time.
The new and returning students to Maya Jaguar have several new seniors and siblings to emulate, as our graduating students often pursue higher education and have rewarding careers that benefit their villages. As the students directly witness a graduate’s success, they also are inspired and motivated to learn all they can at our school. Below you can read all about our three graduates, their successes, and their aspirations for the future.
Esteban is a graduate beloved by everyone at Maya Jaguar. All of the students feel comfortable approaching him for help when they have difficulties learning Spanish, math, or using the computers at school. Esteban spent his last five years at Maya Jaguar––three years in middle school and two years in high school––after enrolling in 2019. Every year his teachers have had nothing but praise for his studious nature and they look forward to seeing him achieve future successes. He graduated from Maya Jaguar with high marks and has enrolled in online classes at Universidad Panamericana (Panamerican University) with the goal of earning his teaching degree with an emphasis in math and computers. Then, he hopes to join the faculty at Maya Jaguar and continue to inspire students to achieve their own personal success stories.
Maya Jaguar has become a second home to Esteban, and he wishes to give back to the staff and students by returning to teach the next generations once he has obtained his degree. The staff at Maya Jaguar offered Esteban an internship as a tutor for the students in an effort to help realize his goal. As a tutor, Esteban will live on the Maya Jaguar campus and be able to have access to stable internet (not available at his home) and the needed resources to complete his classes and internship. We hope to continue supporting Esteban on his journey in higher education and his dream to teach at Maya Jaguar; to do so, of course, takes the collective generosity of our donors. We are happy to share that one caring donor has already contributed Esteban’s tuition and fees for his first year at Universidad Panamericana. We hope further donations will be received to provide for Esteban’s room and board at Maya Jaguar along with compensating him for his work as a tutor. Please click here to donate towards Esteban’s future.
As did Esteban, Reyna spent her last five years flourishing at Maya Jaguar. When she enrolled in 2019, Reyna barely spoke or understood Spanish which made it difficult to connect with her teachers, fellow classmates, or subjects at school. As she began her first classes, her teachers noticed that this language barrier caused her to be reserved and timid. Yet with their help, and her own incredible will, Reyna quickly became fluent in Spanish. Her teachers admire the growth they have seen in Reyna from her shy beginnings to her confident, passionate self today.
Reyna, like Esteban, graduated with high marks and the staff at Maya Jaguar believe she has a promising future. Indeed, Reyna plans to continue her signature hard work and perseverance by continuing on with her education, pursuing a career as a nurse or physician. We wish her the best and know her experiences at Maya Jaguar have prepared her to conquer any obstacles ahead. It would be a true blessing if she shadows the path of Esteban and returns to the villages surrounding our campus for her career goals.
Maria joined us in 2022 and attended Maya Jaguar for her two years of high school. Recognized by staff as a natural leader with a cheerful demeanor, she became captivated with Maya Jaguar, its students, staff, and way of life. Maria has often said how impressed she is with the school’s resources and teachers and wishes she had enrolled sooner for her middle school courses rather than attending school in her home village. Maria has expressed interest in several different career paths and is considering working as a lawyer and notary public or as a nurse. She is eager to take her skills and knowledge she gained from Maya Jaguar and further them in college courses while exploring what incites passion in her. We are confident that Maria will fearlessly enter university and pursue any path she wants for her life.
Maya Jaguar, the staff and teachers and all of our student success stories are all brought to life and made possible thanks to our loyal and gracious donors.