Amigos Welcomes New Board Member
Amigos de Chocola welcomed its newest board member at a year-end meeting December 5, 2016. Marcella Fasano graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a degree in Sociology and continued her education at Cleveland State University where she received her Masters in Sociology. She began her career working for behavioral health agencies in Cleveland, Ohio serving vulnerable children and their families. Marcella now resides in Boulder, CO with her partner Michael Reichert. Both Marcella and Michael joined the Amigos service learning trip in June 2016 and added a youthful spark to the connections with our students. Marcella’s energy, thoughtfulness and passion for education are assets that will enhance the work of our board over the coming years. Welcome, Marcella!
Scholarship Students Win Academic Awards
End of the year academic award ceremonies highlighted several of our scholarship students. While the schools recognized our students for their achievements in the classroom, Amigos recognizes these same students for their community service work in the village. All of our scholarship students participated in the renewal of the Central “Triangle” Park in Chocola that included a full cleanup, construction of flood walls, construction of park benches and reshaping of the trees and shrubs that adorn the area. Residents can now enjoy a public space free of litter and other debris, thanks to the hard work of their students. It is win-win for Chocola!
Students who received academic honors include:
Blanca Carolina Menchu
Maycko Ixquiatap Salvador
Tomas Ranferi Tzuban
Jhony Mijangos de Leon
Wilmer Vladimir Ayala
Bryan Enriquez Carlos
Tomas Ranferi Tzuban
Jenrry Estuardo Tambriz
Volunteers Return From Their trip to Chocola
October 1,4-21 2017
Our volunteer trip to Chocola this past October opened new doors to this small rural village. Meeting with students is always the highlight of our visit. We always come away with a new and healthy respect for their dedication to education. Their work both in and out of school is a testament to a determination of making themselves and their community better able to face their daily challenges. Our students embraced us with their enthusiasm for learning about their world and ours. Our English teaching skills were not the best, but the will to learn made up for it. Visits to our partner organizations, Wuqu’ Kawoq and Semillas Para el Futuro brought a wider range of understanding about life in Chocola to our volunteers. Touring the surrounding area helped enrich our understanding of the life and culture of Guatemala.
The four days and nights we spent in the village revealed a strong sense of community despite what we all agree is a difficult place to live. Each morning the sun rose over the volcanoes in the east, casting a bright gleam of hope for a new day. It rained some days but cleared at night to reveal the bright stars that lit the sky. Volunteers enjoyed the fresh air and the lush landscape. Chocola has become a bustling village during the day with new businesses and homes springing up all around. While the schools still struggle to find the needed resources to offer a high level education for their students, Amigos is determined to offer the assistance necessary to reach news heights for the students and their families in the field of education. News about upcoming initiatives in education will be forthcoming.
Our volunteers came away with a sense of satisfaction that our students and all the students we visited are eagerly learning and doing their best to improve their lives and the lives of neighbors in their community.
Amigos Scholarship Students at Takalik Abaj
For more information about this and future trips, please contact John Hill: firstname.lastname@example.org