q Meet Recent MEF Graduates - Maya Educational Foundation

Maya Educational Foundation • P.O. Box 1483 • Wellfleet, MA 02667, USA • Phone 508-349-1330

Meet Recent MEF Graduates 2023

Meet Recent MEF Graduates

Dear Friends:

This year, the majority of our scholarship students in Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize have finally been able to transition from online to in-person classes. Students much prefer the in-person classes. In Guatemala, only a small number of our students who attend Universidad de San Carlos in the central campus (Guatemala City) continue to be enrolled in online courses. This situation was the result of disagreements among students, professors, and staff about the election of the head of the university, which many believe was fraudulent.

We are happy to report that our scholarship students are making steady progress in their studies, with a new group expected to graduate this academic year. You’ll find some of our recent graduates and their comments on the next page.

A few weeks ago, we had had the opportunity to attend a large student meeting at our partner Sna Jtz’ibajom in Chiapas, Mexico. Throughout the meeting it was inspiring to hear more than thirty students share their wishes and ambitions to pursue their university degrees despite the many challenges they and their families face. Each student expressed great appreciation for having the opportunity to pursue a professional degree and all of them indicated the commitment to change for the better, not only their personal lives, but those of their families and their communities.

At the end of February, we received the very sad news about the passing of Joan Robinson from the Daniele Agostino Derossi Foundation. Joan was for many years the Vice President of their board. Whenever she visited with programs in Guatemala and Chiapas, she demonstrated a keen understanding of project goals and their effectiveness. Joan also showed great sensitivity towards the program beneficiaries. We will not forget her and are sending good thoughts to her family and colleagues.

Our former board member and Treasurer José Ursúa retired with the generous pledge of funding a university scholarship for a Maya woman in Chiapas, Mexico every year. He intends to do so for the next 30 years! He will also match it if we can raise enough money this year for an additional student ($2,500). Please, help us achieve this goal.

We will also be looking for support for the next English Language Program (ELP) cycles: ELPonline starts its new year off again this September and we need to raise $65 per student (for 35 students). ELP-Guatemala is scheduled for December 2023 and we will still need to raise $200 per student for 14 students.

Each year brings new challenges that we are working hard to meet. With your contributions to MEF, hundreds of underprivileged Maya students have already been able to fulfill their educational dreams and others are currently pursuing theirs. Let’s continue to support their efforts.

 Thank you! We wish you a beautiful summer.

Pablo Chavajay
Elisabeth S. Nicholson
Executive Director

Meet Recent MEF Graduates

Norma from our program with Mayan Hands in Guatemala graduated in March of 2023. She says: “I thank you for the support you gave me during my studies. Without it, I would not have been able to obtain a Licenciatura Degree in Education at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala Altiplano. I am deeply grateful for having been chosen to receive a MEF scholarship which gave me the opportunity to develop my skills and abilities. It was a pleasant, productive, and significant time in my life. ¡Muchas gracias!”

Nazario is a recent graduate from the Julian Cho Technical High School in Punta Gorda, southern Belize. He is in our scholarship program with the Julian Cho Society and comes from San Jose village. A key interest in his life is learning. He is on a never-ending quest for more knowledge. Nazario is a very active member in his community, helping in his former school and community. He takes on leadership tasks and intends to be a positive role model for his peers.

Irma Yolanda is in our URL program in Guatemala. “I am a Q’eqchi’ Maya woman. I am so happy to have completed the first part of my professional studies. On October 28, 2022, I graduated from Rafael Landívar University, obtaining the title of Technician in Nursing with Orientation in Primary Care. I want to express my gratitude for the financial support that I received from MEF and its donors. Before receiving the MEF scholarship, I had not been able to study at the university because I was unable to cover the necessary expenses. Now I can say that one of my dreams that I have had since I was a child is fulfilled.”

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