Linda Maria

Linda Maria Salgado Valladares

Date of Birth: September 13, 2011

Year in School: Fifth Grade

Costs per Year: $1,000

Location: Tatumbla, Honduras

ABOUT

Linda Maria came to us through her mother, Linda Rocillo, who used to live close to Camila and her family in Tegucigalpa. They lived with Linda Rocillo’s parents, just like Gaby and Cami do, but when her parents sold their house in the city, they moved to Tatumbla, a lovely and tranquil little village about 30 minutes outside the city. There are six people living in the house: Linda Maria and her mother, her aunt, her grandmother and grandfather, and her great-grandmother. Linda Maria’s grandmother is the only one who has a job right now. Linda Rocillo graduated in 2015 from the university with a degree in social work, but jobs are scarce, and they don’t have the money to send Linda Maria to Tegucigalpa every day to go to school. The family has been teaching Linda Maria her ABCs (which she proudly sang for us in English), and her numbers. She’s a very bright little girl, and as the only child in a household of older people, she definitely gets a lot of attention.

We felt that this little girl is deserving of a scholarship in part because her mother obviously recognizes the value of an education. She also waited to have Linda Maria until she was in her late 20s, which is another good sign. She is currently embroiled in a legal fight to try and get some support from Linda Maria’s father, but without the money to pay an actual lawyer, it has to go through the state, which takes a long time.

Since Linda Maria is only in Kindergarten now, she can’t really say what she’d like to be when she grows up, but our guess is that she’ll be really good at, whatever she chooses!

2020 – 2021

April 2021

Linda is still studying from home, which is definitely getting hard. But she’s persevering, and once again, she made the Honor Roll for her third quarter at school. Despite the challenges, Linda’s mother and teachers say she is doing well, and staying as happy as she can with her schoolwork, her family, and her kitties.

November, 2020

Linda is still studying from home and, although she’d prefer to be back in class, she’s doing really well. She’s on the Honor Roll again for the first quarter of school, and her teachers say she’s happy and works really well with her classmates. Her school is doing an impressive job of organizing and engaging the students.

In her spare time, Linda Maria spends time with her kitty, Copita. She loves to decorate the Christmas tree. Her mother says she does the same thing every year, because she loves those colors and the snowflakes.

September, 2020

Linda Maria has started 4th grade! She is still studying online, while the government decides whether or not to open schools. Her family hopes things will stay virtual for now, as it is safer. The economy is really in a bad way there; Linda Maria’s grandmother lost her job and although her mother is still working, it doesn’t pay much. Several of Linda Maria’s school friends will not be in school this year, because they can’t afford the costs, and this will be very sad for Linda. But she remains a happy and motivated girl, so we hope she’ll make new friends and keep enjoying her classes, even if she can’t be in school in person right now.

2019 – 2020

May, 2020

Linda is still studying hard at school, although her mother says she misses her friends and being with them playing and studying. She does Zoom-style meetings for her classes, and is able to do workbooks online. We’re so grateful that her family is interested enough in her education that they can help her use the family computer (and that they have the resources to own one, which many don’t). She spends her days playing with her family and her cats, studying, and doing what all little girls do when they can’t go outside—painting her nails! Honduras is still seeing a rise in COVID cases, and the government is still asking people to stay at home and be careful. So Linda made a poster showing how to stay safe in the age of COVID-19. We like it so much, we might just use it around here!

March, 2020

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from Linda Maria, and we are glad to know that she is doing well. All the schools in Honduras are closed and Linda Maria is studying online. We’re so glad that her family has a computer so she can do that and not fall behind. It’s very worrisome for her family, because Linda Maria has asthma, so they don’t want her to come into contact with anyone. So the whole family is at home, Linda is out of work, and everyone is being very careful. But it’s still scary for them all, and no one knows what will happen in the coming weeks.

Luckily, Linda sent us some wonderful photos and videos of Linda Maria in school and at home. She is thriving and growing up so fast! She still loves English, struggles a bit with Spanish, and has so much fun learning about the world. We are really happy for her, and hope she’ll be able to go back to her real school very soon.

These photos are from the past few months and a variety of activities in school and at home.

Here are some great videos of Linda at school and at home. We just can’t believe how fast she’s growing up, and her English is wonderful!

August, 2019

Linda started third grade in August, and her mother says she is so incredibly excited to keep learning and going to school. We couldn’t be prouder of her. Her mother sent us some great photos from the end of her second grade year. Enjoy!

These photos are from the past few months and a variety of activities in school and at home.

2018 – 2019

May, 2019

No big surprise here, but Linda Maria finished out her year in her usual style, on the high honor roll, loving speaking English (more than Spanish, we hear!), and loving being in school. She has been a part of every project and activity offered to her: field trips, science projects, performances, etc. Her mother tells us that Linda Maria is working really hard, but doesn’t like some subjects as much as others. Linda Rocillo has to travel for work and that’s hard on the family, but she has a niece that is helping Linda with her homework, and keeping her on track.

We couldn’t be happier for Linda. She really works hard at her education, and it seems that her school is the perfect place for her. Congratulations on passing to third grade, Linda! We know you’ll be a star, just like you have been all along.

Linda’s mother also sent us some great videos of some of Linda’s activities. She’s dancing in a performance to celebrate Mother’s Day at school, and playing games with all her classmates, and practicing playing “Happy Birthday” on the piano.

December, 2018

Linda Maria is loving second grade! She just finished her first semester, and her mother reports that she is doing really well, and improving in the places she needs to improve. Like speaking Spanish, which is ironic, since she is a native Spanish speaker! They were worried that Linda may have dyslexia, because she keeps mixing up the B and D sounds, but they don’t think that’s it and they are just working on practice and some speech therapy. Linda’s mother says she loves English and prefers to speak it when she can. She reports Linda Maria will spend time in her room teaching her cats English. She reports on the day’s activities at home, and gets a lot of support from her extended family, and we really believe that’s key to succeeding in school. Her mother reports that Linda usually does all her homework by herself, and only asks for help when she is having trouble.

In addition, the school seems to be doing a fantastic job. They offer lots more than just studying. They have spelling bees, field trips, and exercises to learn skills that are not necessarily always taught in grade school. The school is also offering music classes and Linda is enjoying those, although she still hasn’t decided whether or not she’s going to try and instrument. Her family talks to her about the importance of music, which is great.

And, very importantly, there is always time to play with her cats and spend time with her family!

Linda’s mother says that there has been an increase in violence in their little town. Two neighbor boys on their street a few houses away were killed. Linda’s family left the main city three years ago because they wanted some more safety and tranquility, but even their quiet little village is falling prey to the violence that is sweeping over Honduras. We hope that they don’t become the target of any of that violence.

August, 2018

Linda Maria has started second grade! Her mom says that she was waiting impatiently and now she is so excited and ready to study. We spoke with the headmaster of her school, and he says she is an excellent student, and always works very hard. Here are some wonderful photos from the beginning of school, and some videos from home.

Ever the budding scientist, Linda Maria demonstrated to her audience how lack of oxygen causes a flame to go out (view video below).

2018 – 2019

June

Linda Maria has finished first grade and will be entering second grade in August! She’s growing up so fast, and she is truly thriving in her school. She is still on the High Honor Roll, participates in all the school activities with gusto, and receives a lot of crucial support from her mother and relatives at home. She is a perfect example of how family support makes such a huge difference in a child’s education.

It looks like Linda Maria’s last days at first grade were pretty fun. Not only did she finish the year with a 97% average, but she got to be Wonder Woman AND a sunflower – her two favorite things!

March

We received some wonderful pictures and a great letter from Linda Maria recently. She’s definitely growing up! Losing teeth, and celebrating Valentine’s Day with her classmates and, of course, still on the High Honor Roll!

December-January

Linda Maria is doing so well in school! She’s on the high honor roll, and is just thriving in everything she does. Her school looks like so much fun, we wish we were back in First Grade!

Honduras has been in a bit of an uproar lately, with election chaos and government strikes. School has been cancelled periodically, but despite all of the upheaval, Linda Maria has been doing really well in school. She loves the classes and her friends. We received a great little report from partway through her first grade year, along with an impressive report card: all 90s and 100s. Congratulations, Linda Maria! We hope you enjoy looking at the report. She’s just thriving in school, and we couldn’t be happier to hear it.

Linda-Maria-Report-from-1st-Grade

August

Linda Maria started First Grade in August and apparently she loves it!

July

In June, Linda Maria graduated from Kindergarten! It was obviously a very fun day, and we received a letter from her mother describing the pride she felt. She recounted a story that the day of her graduation, Linda Maria told her mother “I’m graduating just like you did,” referring to her mother’s college graduation two years before. We’re grateful to Linda Maria’s whole family for their support and help with her studies. That’s as important as anything else we can think of in terms of a student’s success.

April

Linda Maria was out of school for a couple weeks in April with the chicken pox, but before she got sick, her mother sent us some great pictures of the whole family in the city. She’s growing up fast!

2016 – 2017

December

Meghan and Christa visited Linda Maria and her family in Tatumbla in early December. Linda Maria’s great-grandmother had just passed away, so it was a little sad in the house, but everyone is doing very well. We visited the school, which is growing by leaps and bounds. Linda Maria’s mother also sent us some wonderful photos of some of the activities at school, including “Twins’ Day,” and the Science Fair.

October

Linda Maria is doing really well at school, and loving it! She had her fifth birthday and insisted on sharing her cake with her classmates, even though she received it from an aunt and uncle at home. We received some wonderful photos of her in class, taking part in a national celebration to honor Lempira, an Indian chief who is a national hero, and winning first prize for Crazy Hair Day.

2015 – 2016

June

Linda has finished her first year at school and she loved it! Her grade card was very impressive; she met almost all the expectations her teachers set for her, and approached any others that she didn’t quite meet. They use an M and an A for grades (as well as a W/H, which means With Help). We like that means of grading, especially for the young kids. Grades are so arbitrary sometimes, and they also place undue emphasis on a single goal, whereas these notations say more about the student’s performance overall. Since she was only in school for four months, and Honduras requires that kids have a full  year of Kindergarten, she will now enter “Kinder 5,” so she can finish her requirements before entering first grade. Her mother sent us a great little pictorial showing Linda Maria’s year-end cuaderno (notebook). Enjoy!

Linda Maria’s mother, Linda Rocillo, was able to find work in April, as a social worker, which is simply fantastic. She’s not being paid much (certainly not by our standards), but it’s something to help the family, and it is a great example for her daughter that you CAN make a life if you have an education. We are really happy for Linda Rocillo and wish her the best in her new job.

Linda Maria answered some questions for us through her mother, and here is what she had to say about her time at school:

What did you like the best about being in Kindergarten?

“I made new friends and  we played, but also we had to do hoemwork and paint, and count, and the bus came to my house. That I liked.  I liked math and phonics best.

I want to say thank you for everything to Christa and the foundation.”

You’re very welcome, Linda Maria!

March and April

Linda Maria appears to be thriving at her new school. Her mother says she is becoming much more socialized and loves her new friends and her teacher. She sent us a couple of reports for the last few months, which you can see here.

Linda Maria’s February and March

Linda Maria’s March and April

February, 2016

We received Linda Maria’s first week’s progress report. She is loving her new school, and doing really well. This is a perfect place for all her energy, and we have no doubt she will learn a lot. Best of all, for now, she has friends her own age and she will learn about all those important things like sharing and being part of a group of friends.

Linda Maria’s First Week

January

Christa went to meet Linda Maria and her family in late January. Gaby, Camila’s mother, and Klaudina came along for the day, so it was fun to spend time with both of them. Linda Maria lives at the top of a tall hill behind the little town on Tatumbla. It’s a neat and tidy little house, and it’s clear that the family values reading and knowledge. There are a lot of books and other fun things around the house. Linda Maria and her mother share one room, her aunt is in another, her granparents share a room, and her great-grandmother sleeps with her grandparents. Unfortunately, there are no other kids in the neighborhood, which has a lot of “casas de campo” (weekend homes) for people from the city. So Linda Maria has been the baby of her household for a few years now. Her grandfather, Felipe, has taught her ABCs and to count to 20 in English, which she proudly recited for us.

Linda Maria is a very bright and engaging little girl, and when she saw Klaudina, she immediately jumped all over her, asking her to play. She clearly hasn’t had much time with kids her own age. Klaudina was a pretty good sport!

We went to visit the school that Linda Maria will attend. It’s a brand new bilingual school started by a man who owns the land, but wanted to do something good for the community with it. It’s on a beautiful piece of land and it’s all bright and shiny and new. Right now they are only offering kindergarten classes, but next year, they will offer first grade as well, second the year after that, and so on. Christa met with the two teachers and they speak perfect English, which is really great. Often “bilingual” isn’t really that. All the kids there greeted us in English while they had their snacks. But the best part was watching Linda Maria race towards the playground and immediately make friends with another little girl there. In fact, when it was time for us to leave, she didn’t want to, and she was a bit cranky on the ride home!