For our students, many birthdays and holidays pass without any gifts. Unfortunately most of the families who participate in our programs cannot afford the luxury of gifts during these special times. At Project Maltioxinem we want to make sure that our students receive at least one gift this holiday season and get to enjoy that special feeling of opening up a gift just for them. Each girl received a brand new box of 24 crayons they could keep at home...something their families definitely would not be able to provide for them. They then spent the last day before a few days of holiday, practicing their English by playing games. Thank you to all our donors for making this special day possible. Feliz Navidad!
All of our mothers have personal reasons and goals for learning English...all connected to helping them access better jobs, better education and helping them improve the lives of their families. One of our mothers who has been with us from the beginning has realized her goal already! Nicolasa, mother of five, recently realized her goal of opening up a small restaurant. This allows her to take more control of her financial future and supplement her income when her other part time job is less secure. We are very proud of Nicolasa and wish her every success. Felicidades!
Learning a language is not easy and sometimes it is easy to get discouraged. So our teachers are always trying to make it fun, engaging and full of variety. Here are our mothers learning about English verbs by doing them!
The girls are starting a vocabulary unit on food...which of course means lots of trips to the market to buy samples they can try out in class! They also get to practice new verbs they have learned such as "pick up" "put down" "bite" "hold" and "choose". Once we have enough vocabulary it will be time to play Food Bingo!
Last week was one of our busiest! We had our fabulous volunteer photographer, Zyra Raguro, stay and take amazing photos of all our girls, mothers, their families and even their homes. More amazing photos to come. During Zyra's stay, we offered free family portraits for each family associated with Project Maltioxinem. Several families took us up on the offer and it was a wonderful afternoon spent with these beautiful families. This is a rare opportunity for most of these families and everyone loved seeing themselves on film and choosing the photos they liked the best.
As well, we have several new mothers who have joined the Project in the past few weeks, and Juan Carlos, their teacher is busily trying to catch them up. Here they are learning about body parts!
And yes....at one point, I too was covered completely in body part labels. I'm pretty sure one of the mothers captured a photo of it.
Sometimes the mothers need a little extra support so they can attend their classes..especially with childcare. We don't want anyone to be denied an opportunity to learn because they do not have childcare so the little ones are always welcome too. We bring some toys and art supplies to keep them busy. Here is Diego, the son of one of our mothers.
And if there is an opportunity to squeeze in more learning, Wilson will take it! Here is Transito, the sister of one of the mothers, getting a free one on one tutoring session from Wilson while she waits for her sister to be done her own English lessons. She also spends some time trying to have Spanish conversations with me, bless her and her patience!
It has been an exciting few weeks here in San Pedro La Laguna..settling in, reuniting with the mothers and girls and starting to interview new possible candidates for the project. Wilson and Juan Carlos, our two fabulous teachers, have continued teaching the classes all year long and it's amazing to see everyone's progress. Our girls can now follow a lot of instructions in English and look so confident when they read and speak. Here is a photo of one of the letters, Maria Elena has written in response to her Canadian pen-pal.
Pretty awesome for only one year! Way to go Maria Elena! Below is a photo of Maria Magdalena, who has always been one of our quickest learners, and Cecilia, who has amazed me in her growth since Christmas. She has so much more confidence now and is calling out answers all the time. It's exciting to see how they have grown in learning and in their overall confidence. Our goal at Project Maltioxinem is not only to teach our students English, but to also promote a love of learning, education and increase their confidence. So that as they progress through their own school system they will be more likely to stay in school and get a full education.
Exciting News! We recently received word that Project Maltioxinem has been granted registered charitable status by the Canadian Revenue Agency. This means that whenever you donate, your donation counts towards deductions on your Canadian tax return, and at the end of the year you will receive, via email, a charitable tax receipt. It's a win-win! It's a better time than ever to donate to help the women and girls of rural Guatemala through Project Maltioxinem.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, our group of girls walks from their homes to meet their teacher, Wilson, for English classes. They have already put in a full school day in their Guatemalan public school, usually 8-12:30, have helped their mom around the house, or done some babysitting and are now ready for two hours of English classes. One thing I love about Latin culture is how they greet you with such affection. There is nothing better than getting hugs and kisses from all of the girls every time they arrive. The class, like any other, has very distinct personalities...for example, Rosa Estefania is our jokester, Maria Elena is our studious one, while Maria Magdalena is our bright light and knows all the answers immediately.
We have girls that come from large families (9 brothers and sisters) and small (only child), but they all have two things in common...they and their families live in difficult circumstances and they are part of a little community of learners who come together twice a week for a common goal. When they first arrived in July of 2018, they did not speak a word of English and were confused a lot! Listen to the video below that was taken in January to hear how Cecilia tells you a little about herself.
All blogs are currently written by Tracy, Board member and co-founder of Project Maltioxinem with input from Wilson, who is on the ground daily working with the women and girls...however, it is our hope that in the future, visitors, volunteers and maybe even our students will be able to contribute to our blog posts!