Learning Center in San Antonio Palopo

We are excited to announce that Forma/Forjando Mi Mañana is opening a new learning center in San Antonio Palopo.  San Antonio Palopo is one of the indigenous villages located around Lake Atitlan.  San Antonio Palopo’s schools significantly underperform other rural schools in the Lake Atitlan region.  Our hope is to turnaround the town’s low academic achievements through promoting reading, providing classes in basic computation and technology, providing classes to reinforce student’s math skills and providing classes in English and art.  This is a new center and we need your help to supply the community with enrichment materials.  We are seeking donations of new or used Spanish books or all ages and levels.  We only have 4 available computers for our new center which will not be sufficient to meet the communities needs.   We are also seeking donations of computers and basic technology supplies (USB drives, printers).  Computers must be in good working order and no more than 5 years of age.  We are happy to accept all PC’s and Apple products, both desktops and laptops.  Additionally we would welcome any school supplies such as paper, pens, pencils, scissors, waterproof markers, crayons and the like.  If you are interested in becoming more involved with our program we currently have several volunteer positions available.  We are are looking for volunteer English and/or technology teachers, individuals to serve lunch to a group of elderly women from San Antonio or volunteers to work in our organic vegetable garden.  If you are interested please contact Candelaria at:  formaguatemala@gmail.com


August Update


Buena Vista:
We are excited that Buena Vista schoolyard has finally been completed.  Our project will benefit the entire school community. Thank you those of you who have assisted.  Additionally we are in need of an event tent or tarp for 200 people.  The tent will be used to project the children and their families from the sun.  Additionally we are in need of chairs for our events and workshops.  We would be most grateful to any individual or group who would be able to donate these items.

Monte Mercedes:
We are pleased to share with you that the library of Monte Mercedes has new facilities that, thanks to the coordination of community leaders. Teachers, children and leaders, came together with great joy and excitement to celebrate the new space where many can cultivate their knowledge through books and other activities.


Scholarships and training to our younger students:
Our three students, who received scholarships to study English and leadership, are currently in Los Angeles California with and enjoying themselves alongside 200 students from other countries. Our students have already received rewards for their outstanding performance in leadership and knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).


Meanwhile in Guatemala, our students here are also improving their knowledge of math, English and learning to read for enjoyment. Additionally, our students are learning to classify organic and inorganic waste in order to teach their community and adopt the practice at home.   This practice is very important to preserve the natural ecosystem of Lake Atitlan for future generations.
The girls in our program received classes on reproductive biology.  This is vital information because in traditional Maya societies this information is often not taught.  Each girl also received a kit with reusable sanitary pads, underwear and soap.  The kits were provided by the US non-profit organization “Days of the Girl.”

The nutritional program in Buena Vista:
As an additional part of our nutritional program, we had a “Pride in Your Communnity Day.”  Elementary school teachers and students, high school students, as well community leaders all came together to clean and beautify the local school.  

The school was cleaned of trash, additional garbage cans were placed, the outside of the school was painted and flowers planted.  We hope with a new clean look the children will be proud of their community and continue to take better care of their surroundings.

Literacy program for ladies in Buena Vista
The ladies had a great and fun time celebrating mother’s days, is not often that they have this great time together, they are most of the time, weaving or working at fields, but at their literacy classes is like a time dedicated for themselves.
Also the ladies of the literacy program had their workshop of how to classify the garbage, was it great to have them in this class.


The Nutritional program in Xejuyu II in San Andres Semetabaj:
The children also had their workshop about how to classify their garbage and with teachers, children and parents had a cleaning day at the school and classrooms.
It was good to see their spirit of working together to keep an environment clean and nice for their children.

The children tutoring program:
The children participating in our Saturday Tutorial Program are very enthusiastic to participate in an additional class during the week.  The children are learning math, reading, dental hygiene and art. We held a “Family Fun Day” for the children’s families. The children were given the opportunity to perform for their parents. The children sang and preformed traditional folkloric dances.  The parents enjoyed watching their children and the children gained self confidence in public performance, their culture and pride in their accomplishments.

The micro loan
Our micro loan program is undergoing impressive changes.   Maria, one of the women in our microloans program, has accomplished a great deal.  Maria comes from a small isolated agricultural village.  In her community, very few women have more than a few years of school.  Many do not speak Spanish, the language necessary to communicate with those outside their community.  Additionally, for the most part, in order to receive medical care or any other service it is necessary to speak and understand Spanish.  People in her community speak the indigenous Mayan language of Kaqchiquel.  With our assistance Maria completed her education.  She now has the equivalent of a high school degree.  Since receiving our help her business has tripled in size and she now has a formal small pharmacy.  This is so significant for Maria and her community because the closest pharmacy is about an hour walk through the mountains.  Maria is a testament to what one can achieve with an attitude of optimism and perseverance.

Antonio is another young man with a great dream of starting his own business. With our assistance of a small micro he was able to open a small general store for basic daily needs.  Before he opened his business the residents had to walk about 30 minutes to buy basic goods.  Again we have shown that with a tiny investment, often only one hundred dollars, alongside effort, optimism and hard work the Mayan people in the Guatemalan highlands are capable of doing anything.