Coronavirus 2020-2022 Pandemic
These small efforts of making canes and masks has created small businesses people can do from their home here in Guatemala without risk of infection. Every little bit helps!
Donated seed money to make canes for the elderly, for a small business that can work from home without risk of infection, and does not rely on tourism for income or sales.
Doña Gloria with new cane, mask and medicines for diabetes & transportation to the doctor twice a day.
Lidia , in her beautiful hand-embroidered juipile, before masks were required...
Coronavirus Emergency Food Drive. 2020
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SCHOLARSHIP UPDATE 2019-2021
2020 & 2021: It's a New Year to help students finish up their four year educational degrees. Many have been able to attend their advanced studies going to Quetzaltenango — or "Xela" in the Guatemalan Highlands one day a week, while working at their regular jobs during the week, and doing a ton of homework to turn in on Saturdays.
(Note: during Coronvirus Pandemic and lockdown in 2020-2021, students have all been attending classes ONLINE, and education continues!)
They attend classes all day on Saturdays, often after a 3 or 4 hour bus ride to get there (leaving at 4 a.m.!) and then sitting through classes all day, then back home again in the early evening, tired but with another successful day completed. This shows you just how motivated young people are here in Guatemala to get a higher education, which is almost impossible for most.
And it only costs $1,000.00 USD a YEAR to put them through Higher Education at the University level, plus laptop, cell phone and bus transportation. I hope everyone considers helping this way. A good portion of our sales goes for scholarships for just this purpose. For more information, contact us directly at AtitlanArts@gmail.com. Gracias!
2017, 2018 & 2019: For the past three years, scholarships continue for Higher Education, English classes, art & computer classes, laptop computers, printers and family medical care for up to 20 students at a time. This is what it is all about, isn't it? Making GENERATIONAL CHANGE and everyone in the program has earned it themselves! BRAVO!
I urge everyone to help fund a scholarship for someone for Higher Education, as the university here in Guatemala costs only $1,000.00 USD per YEAR, not per month! Plus a laptop, books and transportation to classes which students can pay for part of.
There are accelerated courses where students can attend classes on Saturdays, and continue to work during the week. It changes everything in someone's life as when they graduate, they can then pay for education for their own children, and their children's children and on and on and on... and ultimately it makes for GENERATIONAL CHANGE. One more family pulled out of never-ending poverty by their own efforts and some small financial help from us.
All for $1,000.00 USD per year.
Paying half is a great motivator. One does not have to pay for a full scholarship to help; it can be shared with someone else or the student can work and save for partial payment. The money is always given directly to the school, and to no other. This ensures the money gets to where it is supposed to be going. Receipts and grades are checked regularly.
This scholarship program is probably one of the best things I have ever done in my entire life, and I have that small unexpected inheritance to fall in my lap to help get this program started. What a surprise!
Now we put it in God's Hands to find more ways to keep it going.
We offer a Hand Up, not a Hand out!
Homework Helpers, Scholarships & Higher Education Program
"Homework Helpers" in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan [Fwd: FOTOS DE ESCUELITA
Fall of 2016 to 2019:
We have started "Homework Helpers" and the "Higher Education Fund" in the late Fall of 2016, and January 2017 when the students return to school. We will be paying full scholarships for the next two years for 12 students going to school for college preparatory, professional degrees or higher education at the universities in Xela or Guatemala City, or private schools in Solola or Panajachel.
Our excellent accountant Nicolas Ramos will be administering the program and monitoring the students, their grades and meetings with the parents. We have an internet laboratory open every day morning to night, with 6 computers, 3 printers and high-speed internet with Cristian and Jose as tutors and mentors at all times.
2019 - 2020 UPDATE: We have been able to provide scholarships for most students through 2019, and opening markets in Europe to sell keychains and beautiful beadwork to see many more students graduate from Higher Education. Generational Change!
We pay for all employees to take English classes, and will bring in special tutors giving group English classes or aid with particular subjects the students need help with.
We also offer arts & crafts and outdoor activities and materials after school or during school breaks. This is all free to the students in the scholarship program. I have paid for all of this out of my own savings and with earnings from AtitlanArts.com and Guatemalan Arts & Crafts.
Thanks to all the customers who have helped make this possible, and to my own relatives who left me a small inheritance that has helped make this dream come true. I couldn't e happier especially when we realize that college for some of the students only costs $1,000.00 USD per year in Guatemala, which is almost impossible for many to pay, but is EASY for we gringos to provide.
What an incredible difference we can all make for truly motivated students who just need a small hand up, not a handout. It's really easy to do and I am so grateful that this is so.
There is no free school or student loans in Guatemala, so this will be of great benefit to everyone concerned. This will also make Generational Change, as when these young people have professional jobs they will be able to send their children to school and the lives of the entire family will change for the better!
I am very happy and proud that we are in a position to help all of our employees and their siblings and families, and doing more for the artisans and their families. Plus we were able to find wonderful Dr. Mike and HealingTheChildren.org for hearing aids for one of our of our artisans, the wife of Nicolas of Santiago.
We take no salaries, and are donating all profit and a good percentage of my personal savings to accomplish these new educational and medical projects, and will be looking for ways for our artisans and family members to work on income-producing projects to generate funds for scholarships which will make generational change.
I couldn't be happier about this wonderful program and will keep this section updated as the years and semesters pass by. Thanks to all the customers of AtitlanArts.com who have also made this educational scholarships possible. Gracias, amigos, and gracias a Dios!
HOMEWORK HELPERS (2016):
1. Three students working in the computer laboratory (above)
2. Rosario working on one of the laptops in the computer lab (above)
3. Cristian (on crutches) helping Pablo David with mathematics (David passed!)
4. Rosario with her 2016 grades! (how to right this photo in Shopify?)
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Rosario Ratzan with Catherine Todd in Santiago, Atitlan (2012)
Rosario Ratzan Tiney & Catherine Todd (right), beading co-op in Santiago
Long Way Home: building a technical school in Comalapa
2009-2010-2011 Projects we help support or are developing:
LifeSchoolweb.com ~ new computer lab, walkways for the school
Workshops to bring new designs and training to the artisans, to open up new international markets
Working with Beading Co-ops with women from San Jorge la Laguna, Santiago and other villages around the lake
Free eye exams with subsequent medical treatment, glasses and eye operations as required
Backpacks, school supplies and scholarships for students and the schools
Building construction with recycled materials and working with LongWayHome,Inc.org
who is building with used tires, rammed earth, plastic bottle "bricks" using plastic water bottles filled with sand or dirt.
Survivors of hurricane Agatha in June 2010 ~ food, clothing, cash to buy new tools and household goods.
A second hurricane blew through just two months later, again with huge mudslides, houses falling into the river or the lake, bridges washed out, roads destroyed, and big boulders crashing down on market areas which caused the roads to be closed for over two months, and killing or injuring many residents. Add in a volcano eruption, airport closed in Guatemala to clean off the ash, and a giant sink hole that appeared nearly 60 feet deep, swallowing an entire clothing factory in Guatemala City. It had been five years since Hurricane Stan, which destroyed much of the town of Panajachel and villages around the lake. Just as recovery was almost complete, these second climate changes did a repeat performance. The people pray and pick up what they can and start rebuilding immediately. It's really incredible to watch them work together and we do all we can do to help.