We in the United States take so many things for granted that are luxuries in a third world country like Guatemala. It was just in the past few years that education became “free” for the primary grades across the Land of Eternal Spring. Education is rather haphazard there because in many of the very rural schools teachers will call in sick and strike for a week and there are no classes. Most of these teachers only have a high school degree and school is very heavy on arts and crafts. The teacher salaries are low to boot. A family with any money at all will send their child to a private school if one is nearby. Families still have to pay for middle school and high school, which are all private.
This year we opted to send our children next door rather than up to Godinez because Irvin was spending much of his day trucking the kids back and forth. And we like the idea of our Guatemalan children being able to walk to school. We decided to fortify the after-school program for our kids by getting the same workbooks that are used in the private schools. The result of this change appears to be promising.
The school next door to the hogar is K thru 6th with about 40 kids and three teachers. We were not alarmed by the bundled classes because our children went to such a K thru 12th school here in rural Appalachia. They all survived and all but one have gone on to college and four to graduate school.
We have had several donations that will significantly upgrade the school. Team Lula donated money that we allocated for a computer room with a virtual library equivalent to the best available to anywhere in the States. We have made arrangements with the donating NGO and hope to get it implemented over the next few months. Just recently Mike and Gordon brought down another Eagle Scout Project team and installed a playground—actually two: one at the school and one at our clinic.
I can’t think of anything better to teach your children than the values that come with the playground project that Mike and Gordon did with the scouts. They have previously built bunk beds, cribs and even a house. And we were so proud of our granddaughter who collected formula and raised enough money to give away over 200 cans of formula. These are the kind of values that you want to pass down to the next generation.
Again, thanks Mike and Gordon and thanks, Lula. Not only with our kids at the hogan benefit from these upgrades, but all the kids in the community.no