Help us celebrate the graduation of our 9th and 11th -grade students this November! Juanita from La Bendición will also be graduating from 11th grade in her distance learning program. This achievement is a miracle! Juanita’s education stopped after 6th grade because her significant physical disabilities made it impossible for her to travel to another village for 7th grade. Juanita is very bright, and she has flourished through the distance learning program. Her stated goals are to help her parents learn to read and write, to write a book about her life and to help the youth in her village. All of these students have achieved an important milestone. Being able to graduate from high school is not common in the Ixil. Many students in other schools drop out to work in the fields or help at home, or because they are unable to afford the cost of uniforms, books, supplies and transportation required for secondary school education in Guatemala. Drop out rates are high, particularly for girls. Many girls get married at age 14-15 and begin raising their own families. Nicolás Fund for Education has been extremely successful in retaining our students year to year. This is evidence of how God, through donations made to NFE, is literally changing the trajectory of these student’s lives. They are completing high school, getting married later, having children later, and are more likely to have children who are immunized, have better nutrition and are read to by their parents. It is considered quite an honor to have North American guests at graduation ceremonies, and isn’t it an important part of our relationship-focused program to celebrate what these hard-working students and their …
The July NFE team spent two days with our Nicolás Christian School students, praying for and encouraging them. Our trips help us to really get to know these students through personal conversations. The students love to perform for teams and have prepared dramas using mime actors. Students also lead us in worship with songs and have recently added instruments such as guitars, keyboard, a trumpet and percussion. The July team was planning to put on the third annual all-day Teacher Professional Development Workshop for local Ixil teachers. This year we’re thrilled to have 80 Ixil teachers attending from a variety of villages! Nicolás Christian School has its own internet capacity, and one of the presenters at the workshop was a Spanish-speaking Seattle Pacific University professor who did a Livestream presentation on the topic of special needs students. The teachers received a certificate from SPU at the end of the day. One of the other real benefits of these workshops is for teachers to network with each other, to promote sharing of resources and information as well as supporting each other in the pursuit of educational excellence. The July team spent time meeting with parents and teachers in La Bendición, La Esperanza and Belén to answer their questions and obtain feedback. The team also spent time with primary school students in these villages. Be on the lookout for the date of the July Team Trip Report for details about how these plans unfolded!
Take the opportunity to spend a week with God participating in His work in the Ixil region of Guatemala to lift these students up from poverty through education. Your prayers and encouragement are a vital part of their success story! Our July Impact Team will be meeting soon to plan trip activities! It is not too late to sign up, but time is running out! This Impact Team will get to visit the new computer and science labs, spend time with our Nicolás Christian School students and participate in a Teacher Professional Development Workshop for local teachers. This popular workshop involves both Guatemalan and US teachers sharing information with a mutual goal to improve teaching skills, build networking and stimulate creativity. Time will be spent in the villages of La Bendición and La Esperanza, as well. Trip dates are July 22-August 1. Average cost is $1800-2000 paid over three installments. To sign up, you can now find our Trip Application and Criminal Background Check forms on our NFE website! Simply print these documents off, fill them out and mail them with your $100 deposit to NFE, 9311 SE 36th Street, #202, Mercer Island, WA 98040. Your deposit check should be made out to “Nicolás Fund for Education” and in the memo line write “July 2016 trip”. Do not put your name on the memo line or it won’t be tax-deductible. Put your name on a Post-It on the check, and don’t forget to include your application and National Criminal Background Check form. If this trip doesn’t work for your schedule, the dates for the November graduation trip will be November 10-18 and the February trip dates are February 17-27, …
Paul Selvig, February 2016 team member, and his son Josiah shared about their experience as team members. Paul, a multi-trip veteran, described how rewarding it was to introduce his son to his friends in the Ixil that he has made over many years. He strongly encouraged families to consider taking a trip together.
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