This is the place for photos and reflections of my visits to Latin America beginning in 2012. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr. HAPPY TRAILS!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

BECA PROJECT ENCOUNTERS

Our beloved Beca Project brings so much joy to our lives! I hope our students and their families understand - and I try to explain it every visit - that the positive impact of our relationship with them extends both ways. Many of the sponsors have visited San Pedro and can attest to the power of the emotional connection and to the pride of these families for their children's successes. Every year the confidence of the students grows - sometimes in phenomenal leaps from painfully shy to confident and outgoing - and the confidence of the parents and siblings shines through as well.

Gone are the days when I could visit every family in their home every year - there are just too many now to make that feasible, especially since visiting requires a guide to find the homes and a translator for the local Maya language, Tz'utujil, to Spanish or English and back. We'd be literally and figuratively lost without those services from Mynor and he's a busy guy. Our current compromise is to visit just the homes of each year's new students, which Mynor and I set out to do during the week following Semana Santa; we visited 7 families and will visit the remaining 5 when I'm back in August.

Lorenzo


Rosita


Maria Mendez


Juan Rafael


Juanita


Lucia


Juan Felipe showing me a magic trick


Anyone who has visited San Pedro with me can attest to my joy in running into Beca Project students and their families in the street and in the market. Here are a few photos of chance meetings with current and former students.

Tono, one of our graduates, is proud to be a police officer now.


Dorcas - seen with her mother - is a university student.


Juana Micaela (left), is taking a year off between Diversificado and university to help with the cost of education for her siblings.


Karina


Beca students Mayra (left) and Jennifer (right) with a school friend


Paulina is a former Beca Project student who is working in town to support her family; I haven't seen her for more than a year and she looked wonderful.


Evelin Elena is finishing her last year of university, training to be a teacher; we passed her as she walked her daughter Rosario to school.


Rosa Maria and her mother selling tortillas in the market.


Another version of this was seeing Beca students in the Semana Santa processions; here are 3 examples.

Ana Judith


Rosa Maria (2nd from right)


Paola (near the back, smiling)


Mike and I held six 'Ice Cream Fiestas' on the rooftop terrace of Ti Wachooch in order to see as many of the other students as we could. As the week progressed the students - and the confidence and type of conversation - changed since we started with the youngest kids and ended with the kids in their final years of Diversificado programs (like a combination of high school and trade school/community college).







Onward and upward!


If you're interested in looking at the full set of Beca Project-related photos from this trip, click here.

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