Hermelinda Consepción Miguel Nicolás

Hermelinda Consepción Miguel Nicolás

Hermelinda Consepción Miguel is 28 years old and comes from Kanajau Xixilac, Nancultac, Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango.  This is a very remote corner of Guatemala, close to Mexico on both the north and west, with a rich Mayan cultural tradition.  Hermelinda speaks Q'anjob'al as a first language.  She is pursuing a degree in teaching students with special needs (Special Education in the US).  There is only one program for this in Guatemala, so she has had to move to Guatemala City to attend University..

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Marcaria Tubac Simón

Marcaria Tubac Simón

Marcaria Tubać Simón is a 30 year old single mother of a 7 year old son, Hector David.  She lives in the village of Saquitacaj, San José Poaquil, Chimalatenango.  Her first language is Kaqchiquel.  She is the second of 8 children, evenly divided between boys and girls.  She has already managed to finish high school with a certificate for teaching bilingually in primary school, and has a job doing so, but the income is eaten up by family needs so she needs some help in pursuing a university degree that will allow her  to teach language and literature at a higher level ... and higher salary.

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Edwin Alexander Chilisná Chipel

Edwin Alexander Chilisná Chipel

Edwin Alexander Chilisná Chipen is 19 years old and comes from the village of Caserío Baxil, Uspantán, El Quiché.  His first language is Maya K´iché.  His mother was married at a very young age and had two children, Edwin and his older sister, Caty; followed some years later by a much younger brother, Erick.  The father abandoned them years ago and they have struggled to survive on their own.  Edwin is still in secondary school, pursuing a certificate in Natural Resources, which revolves mostly around agriculture and forestry.

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Edgar Amilcar Chóc Morán

Edgar Amilcar Chóc Morán

Edgar is 18 years old and comes from the village of Esquipulas Pajuil Chicamán, Quiché, a rather remote area.  His first language is Maya Pocomchí, one of the 22 Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala.  He is still finishing High School, pursuing a certificate in Natural Resources, and has two more years to go.  He is the 6th of 10 children in the family, 6 of whom are still living at home.  His father is a farmer, producing food for the family but not enough to sell, and works when he can for his neighbors to gain a little money.  His mother is the head of the household.  In addition to feeding and caring for the family, she makes floor mats of rushes to sell and raises small animals like chickens .  Neither of his parents have had even one day of formal education.  Their estimated combined income is a little under $80 a month for the entire family of 8, depending on availability of work.  Their estimated monthly expenses are about $1 less than the income.

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José Perez

José Perez

José is 22 years old and already has had four years of experience working in construction drafting. He graduated from a technical institute in Quetzaltenango with a degree in “Construction Drawing” and then returned to live with his aging parents in Santa Clara La Laguna, a small village located slightly inland from Lake Atitlan.  He has five older brothers and sisters but all of them are married and live apart from the family home.  In the last three years he has been the sole supporter of his father, who is 84 and his mother, who is 63.           

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Milton Rocael

Milton Rocael

Milton is a 21 year old student from La Libertad in the department of El Petén. The majority of its inhabitants are very poor as it is difficult to bring their crops to market. Milton’s life has been very difficult. His parents divorced when he was five years old and both of his parents started new lives with new partners. Milton lived with his mother for a short time but he was soon rejected by her and her new husband and he went to live with an uncle. Here too his life was difficult, not only did he have to work long hours in the fields, he was treated as “less than” his cousins. When he finished primary school his uncle told him that he couldn’t continue to study and he had to take a low paying job in a near-by farm.          

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