September 2022 News
Maya Jaguar is performing spectacularly. Our students are learning and eating well as a result of your efforts. Gracias.
September has been a full and busy month.
Trip report: 16 day road trip from our home in Mexico to Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala’s Maya Jaguar campus. This trip was about hauling freight using a borrowed SUV. It was stuffed with all of next year’s school supplies, as well as two carloads of gifts from Frances’ home in Grants Pass. It also included a large professional telescope that had been waiting for transport to Maya Jaguar. We met with local Rotarians from Barillas and interviewed the staff and the teachers at Maya Jaguar.
Our return trip back home was also about hauling freight — we took advantage of the empty car to bring back merchandise that Frances had been acquiring for sale on the Adopt-a-Village eBay store run by Kathy Hiebert to raise funds for our programs. We also have colorful furniture pieces that we will bring to California with the hope that you will help us turn into donations. There are colorful blankets and carpets as well.
Tikal trip report: All students and staff went on a four-day adventure in a rented (and insured) bus to Tikal, then to the Castillo de San Felipe in Rio Dulce. They stayed in an economical hotel and ate in humble restaurants. Their comments about the trip made us smile, cry, and laugh. We were inspired that for EVERY scholar it was their first trip - anywhere or ever! Their comments about food were universal: lots of new vegetables. One girl told us it was her first time to eat lettuce and that she loved it. Another told of her surprise at the great taste of pork. Our hope for this experience in Tikal was that the students would be proud of their Maya culture and wow, we got that hope met! They marveled at the ancient Maya construction techniques and material transport system that are still not completely understood. Each teacher took a special role instructing on-site, and then again back at a meeting area. Student report: We interviewed each of the students individually. While each student has his/her own goals and varied interests among them, they were unanimous in these areas: the teachers are the best they have ever had; the meals at the campus are tasty and healthful; the companionship they feel among themselves and the staff makes for better personal and social development; they enjoy learning words in each other’s native dialects; and they appreciate the extraordinary nature around them and the tranquility and quiet of the place. Staff report: What an inspired collection of professionals these people are! In addition to interviewing each staff person on our last day there, we also had several opportunities over the other three days to see them in action among themselves and with the students. Several of them have been at Maya Jaguar for 8-11 years. They love their jobs and they are motivated by their students’ obvious desires to learn. Kinder report: As you know, we run kindergartens in three small villages in the region near our school. In each case we provide the early education the preschool kids need before entering the government primary schools. Each school has its own local teacher who speaks the dialect of the community. A fourth village, Monte Bello, which is located closest to the Maya Jaguar campus, has formally requested that we provide them a kindergarten. Executive Director Osman Castañeda is determining if the village meets our requirements (a secure building, parental agreement, etc.), and will develop a budget and needs assessment for the board of directors.
Regards, Ted Rose Vice President