Monica Olsen, long time scholarship donor.
Monica Olsen has been a part of the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund since its beginning. Over the years, she has sponsored seven scholars and interns. She has supported the cause because it is truly life changing. One, Lily Garcia, received her career training in computer science. Another, Estela Perez, was raised by a single mother in a cramped mud hut. Monica’s support made it possible for her to get through school. One of the first things she did when she started working as an elementary school teacher was to build a spacious blockhouse where her family could live comfortably. Now, with a family of her own, life is easier because of her education and Monica’s support.
Rosa Angelina Roquel
Rosa Angelina Roquel completed her career training for bookkeeping and has spent two years at the university in the pre-med program. Married with a baby, she intends to go back to the university and become a doctor. Monica said, “You begin to realize all of the privileges we have in this country.” She says that the Kateri Fund is different from many organizations because you can see the direct effect of your contribution through the letters and photos from the women. She has learned about the personal customs and traditions in Guatemala and how family life is emphasized. She said, “They seem so close to their families and very appreciative of how hard their parents work.” In every letter she receives, Monica is overwhelmed by their gratitude for her support and how much it means to them.
As many of you know, Kay has spent the last month in Guatemala working on various projects and the transition of the organization. What you may not know is that we also had someone from the U.S travel down to join Kay for a week. She is considering volunteering for a year to accompany the “Asociacion” through this period of transition. She visited the various projects and liked what she saw. If all continues to move forward positively, she will travel to Guatemala in June of this year. She will be a big help for the Staff to keep them on track as they become fully responsible for the programs.
Clara Loyda – studying to be a bi-lingual secretary.
We’re happy to announce she and Kay are both back, and our shop in Pacifica is again open for business. You can find us at 830 Rosita Rd in Pacifica, and we are even open on weekends! Stop by and take a look at our lovely handcrafted jewelry, unique scarves and other authentic Guatemalan ornaments.
Sandra Cecilia – dreams of being a doctor
It’s been a little while since we last posted here, and for that we apologize. However, we are happy to announce that things are going well with our small organization, and that we were able to put 14 girls through school in 2014, and have met our goal of 15 girls for 2015.
Kay is currently in Guatemala on a month-long trip where she is meeting with several of the girls and is busy planning and training the Guatemalan staff. The focus of this trip is to prepare for her retirement and and the transition period that will follow. Kay hopes to provide the staff and leaders of the newly formed Asociacion “Kateri Tekakwitha” with the support they need to take responsibility for the running of the organization there.
With all these wonderful changes in mind, we are looking for volunteers and hope that you or someone you know would be interested in helping our great organization. Since 1997, the Kateri Education Fund has provided financial assistance to over 60 young women. With your help, the Kateri Education Fund can continue to help young women stay in school and complete their education beyond elementary school. Kateri Education Fund graduates have gone on to pursue careers in accounting, teaching, nursing, music and the arts, and business.
If you would like to donate, please visit our website. With Global Matching Day (March 18th) coming, there is no better time! GlobalGiving.org is matching donations up to $1,000 per donor per project at 30%! Matching begins at 5am PST, and funds go fast so make sure to donate as early as possible.
We promise it won’t be as long until you hear from us again! Until then, remember.. you can do anything with a little help from a friend!
“One very cool thing about this trip to Guatemala was the reactions we got when other folks asked where we were going and what we had seen. The typical touristy folks gave a rather puzzled look and said “oh,” and changed the subject. The folks who really knew Guatemala said ‘ah,’ with a big smile – surprised but pleased that we were seeing the real Guatemala.
Two very different examples are the textile museum and a tortilla demonstration. The textile museum was not simply a place to see wonderful textiles, although it certainly had them, it told the history of Guatemala through the textiles. Because of going there and having a wonderful docent, we understood the meaning of many things we would otherwise have missed for not knowing what we were seeing. Going to a woman’s house and being invited into her kitchen is always special. This was in a village, and the group of village women put together a demo of tortilla making beginning with dried corn on the cob and ending with us eating the freshly made tortillas.
It was a fabulous trip, very special.”
Clara Elizabeth Ecomac To is currently in the 8th grade, with the goal of being different than other young women around her. She hopes that the skills and values from school and family will help her achieve this dream goal. The main craft in the town she lives in is making baskets and her 4 other siblings make baskets to support the family. Her hard working mother stays home to gather wood and prepare meals for the family. Clara’s father makes bread in another town, and then travels home on the weekends to be with his family. The help of the Kateri Fund allows her to get an education so she can have a better future and get a good education. She is extremely devoted to getting good grades and bringing happiness to life.
Blanca Luisa Surec Umul comes from a very hard working family in Tecpan Guatemala. Her father works as a farmer, and her mother weaves “guipiles” to sell. Guipiles are blouses that have flowers, animals and birds woven into the fabric. They are part of the typical dress of Guatemalan Indigenous women and girls. Blanca and her siblings were also taught this art by their mother, so that they could support themselves. Getting a scholarship through the Kateri Fund, Blanca has been able to continue her studies in school. She is very dedicated to learning even if the subject is hard, like English. The skills that she learns from school, Blanca hopes to apply in the places she works. She is currently pursuing the career of Tourism and Hotel Management. Blanca hopes that this experience will get her a good job, so that she can help her other siblings to go to school as well and better the lives of her family and community.