Focus on Education
An important part of AIR’s goal of improving the lives of rural
families in Guatemala is education for
all ages. We provide farmer training, school programs and curriculum, tree
nurseries and gardens at schools, and high school scholarships. We are
happy to report that three more of our students graduated this November, thanks
to loving sponsors who paid for their schooling through AIR.
They are Juan Francisco Pichaya (Dewey and Blanche Parsons, sponsors); Glendy Camey and Brenda Seten (both sponsored by Chris and Glenda Gray). The pride of their families is evident in the photos below.
The vast majority of rural children drop out of school at age 12 because that is when it is necessary to catch a bus to go to school, buy books and sometimes uniforms and to pay a small tuition. Most rural families simply cannot afford those expenses. But since 2003, AIR has linked sponsors to excellent students for the five years of school to graduate. The students write letters and send photos to their sponsors, and a few of the sponsors have even traveled to Guatemala to meet their students in person. AIR also mentors each student, checking on their progress and providing a quiet place for them to study and take exams. We are happy to report that all of the graduates have been able to find jobs and then help their families and their communities. Several have become school teachers and share the lessons they have learned from AIR about the value of trees and sustainable farming.
Congratulations Juan Francisco, Brenda and Glendy—we are so proud of you!