This video is just a sampling of the experiences of President Steven Nelson and Past President Terry Hutchens as they traveled to Guatemala last week. Filmed by Steven Nelson, it is not a perfect video and not perfectly edited. His limited knowledge of film and editing shows in this video.
One of the great things that both Steven and Terry took from this week in Guatemala is the abject poverty experienced in the rural parts of this country. We visited the home of one of the scholarship students and ten people lived in a two room brick home with limited electricity and of course, none of the amenities that we enjoy in the U.S. such as comfortable seating, television or computers. It was a real eye-opening experience.
We also took away the importance of sponsoring some of these children. Cooperative for Education has tripled the size of the scholarship program, beginning with this school year. It went from one school with about 80-100 students to three schools with as many as 300 students. The cost is minimal at only $840/year, but it includes a development program that helps these young people develop into leaders in their communities and country, while guaranteeing them a scholarship for six years to get them through Diversificado (which is similar to high school). A sponsorship does not commit you to sponsoring the entire time.
One of the success stories included the 22-year old Ancemla, who benefited from a scholarship when she entered Basico (7th grade). Both of her parents had less than a Primary education (1st-6th grades), and did not understand the need to extend an education beyond Basico. With the scholarship, she was able to finish Diversificado and it resulted in her accessing a career at a call center support center for a Canadian company. At 22, she earns four times the money her father does and she has been paying for her younger siblings to obtain a high school education.
What an amazing story? You too can help sponsor a student or get several of your friends to support one together. CoEd and the GLP are doing amazing work in this extremely poor country.