Nicolás Christian School lifts the whole community. That’s what I would tell you if I could tell you just one thing about my recent trip to attend graduation ceremonies at Nicolás Christian School in Guatemala. This fact was evident on our first day in the Ixil, a rainy Sunday morning when we drove the rutted roads to the tiny village of San Nicolás to attend graduation at the village preschool. Nicolás Christian School established the preschool a few years ago, and as you might expect, the children were predictably adorable. (See for yourself in the video.) It struck me that all the thought and effort that went into the ceremony—providing tiny caps and gowns, decorating the cinderblock school room, strewing the floor with fragrant pine needles and flowers, the presence of us visitors, the speechmaking, the many verses of the Guatemalan and US national anthems we sung or tried to sing—sent the important message that education is important. Your child’s education is important. Your education is important. I was pleased that the ceremony also recognized several women and one man who had completed an adult literacy course also run by Nicolás Christian School. I have always been impressed by the extensive continuing education Nicolás Christian School offers free to all area primary school teachers each July. This program helps improve the quality of education for all students in the Ixil, even those who never attend Nicolás Christian School itself. In the muddy little village of San Nicolás, a cheerful, loving preschool and an adult literacy program confirmed my belief that Nicolás Christian School greatly benefits the wider community, many more people than the students in its classes. The next day, …
Nicolás Christian School Students Celebrate Mayan Culture in Welcoming Ceremony
The Nicolás Christian School students provided an outstanding B’a’n Etule (Ixil forWelcome/Bienvenidos) ceremony for the Nicolás Fund For Education July 2022 mission trip members. Students shared an unprecedented display of beautiful Mayan traditional clothing from various parts of the Quiché Department and different Mayan people groups in Guatemala. The precious clothing was borrowed from the mothers and relatives of our students for this very special presentation. In the video, students shared traditional clothing from these areas: Elisheva – Cotzal (home to the Ixil Mayan community) Britalin – Nebaj (home to the Ixil Mayan community) Ana – Sacapulus (home to the Sakapultek and K’iche’ Mayan communities) Evelin – Quiché (home to the K’iche’ Mayan community) Madelin – Zacualpa (home to the K’iche’ Mayan community) Yesica – Chichicastenango (home to the K’iche’ Mayan community) Delia – Totonicapón (located in the Totonicapón Department, home to the K’iche’ Mayan community. 37 miles from Nebaj) Teresa -Santa María Chiquimulá (located in the Totonicapón Department, home to the K’iche’ community, 55 miles from Nebaj) Cristel – Xela (Quetzaltenango), home to the K’iche’ community, 46 miles from Nebaj. Brenda – Santiago Atitlán (close to Sololá on Lake Atitlan, 53 miles from Nebaj. Tzutujile Mayan community) Hilda – Cobán (located in the Alta Verapaz Department, 52 miles from Nebaj, home to the Q’eqchi’ Mayan community) We were honored to experience this presentation that accompanied by Mayan dance. It waswonderful to see our students celebrating and sharing their Mayan culture! Take a virtual trip with the July 2022 mission team and browse through our trip photo album. Would you like to experience first-hand the colorful Mayan culture, meet our students, families and faculty, and see the new school being …
Interested in traveling to Guatemala to see student graduations?
An NFE mission team is heading to Guatemala from November 10-18, 2022. It is a joy to attend all the graduation ceremonies (preschool, junior and senior high)! On day one, we help with the dress rehearsal for the graduation ceremony. The excitement in the air is palpable! The next day the missions team attends the graduation and celebrates with students and their proud families. For another 2-3 days, the team then visits the Ixil or Quiche villages where our students live. Following that, we will relax in Antigua, an old Spanish colonial city, for another 2-3 days. To register for this trip, please visit our missions trip page and click on the November trip. A $100 non-refundable deposit can be paid on the same page if you click on the green box on the top of the mission trip page that says, “Click Here to Donate to Mission Trips”.
Girl Scout Raises Money to Buy Library Bookshelves
Lucy Faulk has been to visit the Ixil region of Guatemala with Nicolás Fund for Education Mission teams several times. Lucy understands the importance of education for these indigenous Mayan youth and she had a dream to do something concrete on her own to make a difference. Lucy decided to raise funds to pay for materials to construct library bookshelves for small village libraries. It took Lucy about two years to raise $210. The bookshelves were constructed at Nicolás Christian School using Lucy’s donated materials and the forward-facing bookshelf model (seen in photo 2). The bookshelves were installed in the library in the village of San Nicolás. These libraries have been essential during pandemic-related school closures over the past two years, giving village children access to books and helping to ignite a love of reading. Lucy gathered donated books from Tillicum and Puesta del Sol Schools to take down to Guatemala when she visited in 2020 and 2022. She hopes to add more books as they are donated. The books in each library were selected by teachers and reading specialists and donated by supporters of Nicolás Fund for Education. Each library initially receives about 200 books, and we hope to add more books as they are donated. For anyone wishing to donate books, visit our Book Donation page. Lucy was awarded the “Gold Award” by the Girl Scouts of Western Washington. The Gold Award is the highest achievement available within the Girl Scouts of the USA, and can only be earned by Senior (9th-12th grade) and Ambassador Girl Scouts. Only 5.4% of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award. To achieve a Gold Award, a Girl Scout plans a project that …
2017 Nicolás Christian School Graduation Trip
By Kathy Riper[spacer height=”20px”] The NFE November 2017 Impact Team consisted of Jan Snyder, Ruthie and Gerry Cravens, Linda Brewer, Bea Morrison, Stephanie Filipiuk and Kathy Riper. The primary purpose of our Ixil visit was to attend the Nicolás Christian School graduation of Junior High and Senior High students. It was a lovely ceremony and a joy to witness these young people receiving their diplomas and stand with their proud parents for photos. María Castro, the honor student of the Senior High class, delivered a moving speech. She was articulate, spoke with confidence and spoke without using notes. The parents are proud of their children’s achievements. However, having one or more of their children attending the full day school program Monday through Friday means that these children are not available to help around the house or in the fields. Most parents have had little or no education but they understand the value of educating their children. Other trip highlights were the village visits to La Bendición, Belén, San Nicolás, La Esperanza, Los Angeles and Villa Hortencia Uno. Regina, a graduated sixth grader from San Nicolás, got permission from her parents to greet our team when we arrived. She had changed out of her work clothes and was dressed in a lovely huipil and corté (blouse and skirt). The San Nicolás tutor, Tabita, shared with us that when Regina started the tutoring program this past January she could not read. Regina worked very hard all year and is now reading and eager to start 7th grade at Nicolás Christian School in January. Pedro, the Belén primary school teacher, greeted us when we arrived. Two students who will be 7th graders at Nicolás Christian …
Evergreen Covenant Youth Experience Nicolás Christian School
Thirteen youth from Evergreen Covenant Church had a wonderful opportunity this summer…[spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”] Photo Credit: Sophie [spacer height=”20px”] …to meet Nicolás Christian School students, teachers and village families in the Ixil region of Guatemala. The ECC youth group was comprised of students of different ages and came from five different schools. They were united by a common mission for this trip, however. ECC Youth Experience Ixil Culture Accompanied by four chaperones (Ryan LaBrie, Scott Kuhn, Kendra Gil and Robin Rosenquist) and ECC Youth Pastor Brent Strobel, the youth carried out a mix of sports activities and classroom activities at Nicolás Christian School. The most meaningful activity that the team experienced was having the opportunity to talk to NCS students and see how happy they were despite having less materially and living under far more difficult circumstances than the ECC youth. In addition, the youth team visited Professor Noe, a teacher at Nicolás Christian School who had recently suffered a motorcycle accident. Noe was very touched by the ECC Youth’s visit to pray with him and the visit was an emotional experience for many involved.[spacer height=”20px”] “The beautiful thing about God’s work in our lives is to see how in giving we all receive. We don’t give to receive, but God is faithful and when we are open to His work and people and vision, he sustains us with meaningful purpose. Many of the kids were touched by a painting given with their name on it or a special recognition by another child. The ECC kids gave of their money, vacation time and energy on the trip and, in return gained local and Guatemalan friends, a new perspective on God’s work …
July Trip Registration
[spacer height=”20px”]We are now accepting applications for our July 21-31, 2017 Impact Trip. [spacer height=”20px”]The application and enrollment instructions can be found here. We will be hosting a regional Teacher Professional Development workshop on this trip, so educators are especially encouraged to come on this trip. If you have never been on a mission trip, an experience like this will deepen your relationship with God as you serve him, as well as creating lasting relationships with our NFE scholars and your fellow team members. Make this your 2017 New Year’s Resolution!
NFE Textile Sale December 4th
[spacer height=”20px”]Come and join us! [spacer height=”20px”]NFE is having a special event on December 4th at 11:30 am where Guatemalan and Mexican textiles will be sold at Evergreen Covenant Church in the Fellowship Hall. NFE has a special friend, Hazuki Camp, participating in our sale. Hazuki used to attend ECC when she was attending school in Seattle. Hazuki volunteered at Agros during that time. She is from Chiapas, Mexico where Agros has villages. Hazuki now lives in Beaverton, OR with her husband and three young children. She works with Trebol, which is a coop of women who make beautiful, handmade leather and embroidered products. Hazuki will be donating a percentage of her proceeds to NFE. Following the Textile sale, a Trip report will take place.
Frequent Flyer Miles
[spacer height=”20px”]Are you someone who has accumulated a stockpile of frequent flyer miles? [spacer height=”20px”]There are individuals going on NFE trips who would very much appreciate your donation of those miles to help make their trip to Guatemala possible! Contact us on the form below for more information.
Upcoming Trip Dates
[spacer height=”20px”]It is not too late to go with our team in November to celebrate the graduations of our students! [spacer height=”20px”]This is a wonderful chance to be an enthusiastic cheerleader for our students who have worked so hard and overcome so much to graduate! It is considered quite an honor for our families to have a North American present at a student’s graduation. The trip dates are November 10-18th, 2016. Trip application forms are found on our website if you click on “Your Impact at Work” and then click on the trip dates. Our February 2017 is now full, but we are also accepting applications to be on our July 2017 trip. [spacer height=”20px”]Tentative dates for that trip are July 21-31th, 2017. This team will have the opportunity to participate as a host in a Teacher Professional Development Workshop, to interact with our Nicolás Christian School junior and senior high students and to visit the student’s families in their home villages. Typical trip costs are around $1800 which includes airfares, meals, accommodations and transportation. Spanish language skills are not required. Come on the trip of a lifetime to experience God’s love in a new and personal way, and to witness God’s work in the lives of these students!
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