Summer 2014 in Chiapas
Every summer we have the honor of presenting new scholarships and recognizing the girls and women that are continuing. Three new scholarships were given, and 16 of the 18 recipients in 2013 are continuing their academic careers. For details and photos, please go to the 'scholarships' tab on our home page.
Last summer we had a special time for all the recipients where we explained to them how Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation funds the scholarships. This year, we included the mothers of the girls in this short program. I had put together a photo book with pictures of our events, the volunteers at the events, the organizations who donate to us, etc. The girls are then much more aware that we work hard on their behalf, and we are not just "rich Americans" with deep pockets. There were many "thank-yous" and hugs.
Linda and I took 8 girls/women to the optometrist. This is always a fun event, usually a new experience.
While we were doing that, the women in the bi-monthly meeting had an innovative workshop on creativity. Martha attended and participated and indicated that the facilitator had done an excellent job, and that the women were learning to think "outside the box." Afterwards, when the various workshops over the long weekend were critiqued by the attendees, several women said how much they enjoyed it. Other workshops that weekend were computer skills and marketing .
Martha and her husband, David, were prepared to help the women transfer a poster that had been designed for them several years ago onto a wall in the new building. For details on this, and photos of the process, please go to the 'experience' tab on our homepage. The women very much enjoyed the experience of seeing their "logo" take shape on the wall.
The following week, we were invited to the community of Las Ollas to take a first-hand look at the newly build latrines that we funded. The women were delighted with their new toilets. For photos, please go to the 'projects' tab on our homepage.
We also took advantage of a chance to visit one of the preparatory schools (10th-12th grades) where 3 of our scholarship girls have attended. Prepas provide a general education background but also steer students toward chosen career paths ... in this case nursing. It was good to see the facilities and talk with administrators.
As always, our summer visit includes business meetings and a great opportunity to touch base with the women of the cooperative. The new building is taking shape. Bunk beds have been built in three of the sleeping rooms...no more mattresses on the floor! A room at the front is now dedicated to a shop where the women's handicrafts can be sold.
All for now, Judith