Maria worked as hard as she could this year, and came to tutoring sessions several times. She worked for hours with Anna to practice her material. When the time came to take her exams at the end of her fifth grade year (remember, she’s in an accelerated 5th to 6th grade class that only meets on Saturdays), she passed all her classes except for social studies. The language barrier is challenging, since at home she speaks Maya K’iche, not Spanish.
Because she couldn’t move on to 6th grade for the second half of the year, she can’t continue school for this year. She was really sad, and worried that we were angry with her. We assured her that we were not angry and were just so proud of her for trying so hard. The board voted to use the rest of the money for her year to help her with tutoring so that she continues to learn, and doesn’t give up before she can return to school. Maria is 20 years old now, and we don’t want her to give up and just go back to the usual plan, which is to marry someone and start having babies without any way to support them.
We needn’t have worried! On June 27, Meghan and Christa Skyped with Maria and Anna to talk to her about school and how she’s doing. Here are some of the things she told us (translated into English):
“I enjoyed my classes. Aida and Anna helped me prepare for the exams. Even though I wasn’t able to pass this time, next time I will already know all the material.”
“My favorite class is natural sciences, what I’ve observed near my home, the plants and trees, etc.”
“My talents are to weave, do my work, tolerate my 13 year old brother” (and that IS a talent!)
“I want to continue to study to have a career.”
“The hardest thing in social studies was to learn the maps, and learn the provinces, etc.”
“It has been difficult because I only have classes during the weekends, and it’s hard to fit all that material in. Now I’m studying every day. In the beginning I was only going to study three times a week, now it’s every day (for my tutoring)”
“Thank you from my heart, because I want to do it. I want to complete my schooling.”
Well, we want you to, as well, Maria! We have no doubt that next year she will shine in her classes. We told her that the most important thing is for her to believe in herself and not to give up, and we will continue to support her. She was very grateful and thanks everyone for their help.