Barbara Tarton

Barbara Tarton greatly wants to improve her life.  She works very hard to reach her goals. Oneof her main goals is to graduate from school with good grades. She will look for opportunities to use the skills that she has learned throughout her life. Her family is very supportive of herstudies, and she hopes to repay their support by bettering the lives of her parents and five other siblings. Barbara is currently in the 10th grade and looks forward to finishing school so that she can become an office secretary. The Kateri Fund has helped Barbara to go to school, learn new things, and use her intelligence to its greatest potential.Barbara Tartan 2013

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Francisca Abelina Cutzal Sirin

Francisca Sirin 2013

Francisca Abelina Cutzal Sirin is pursuing an education to become a primary school teacher, like her brother who graduated in the same career in 2011. Her siblings and Francisca are all attending school to better their lives, and they are supported by their parents. Her mother and father are very pleased that their daughter is studying the career of teaching. Francisca travels to school in a different village which is a very new experience for her. She is able to attend this school because of the Kateri Fund, and wants to participate in all activities and requirement it offers. Francisca wants to help her family, the children she will teach, and herself by being a woman of good principles and values.

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Notes from the May Scholarship Meeting

Lily Kari..The creation of a mural  from newspaper pictures added much excitment to the May scholarship meeting.  The young women used all the knowledge they have gained so far this year about  vocations and careers as their theme.  It was a way to review what they have learned while having fun.  They can enjoy their creation each time they attend a meeting and relive the fun and sharing of their collaboration.

Lily Garcia Alvarado was welcomed as a new scholar moving us closer to our goal of 20 young women on scholarship for the year.  She is  studying for a career in computer  use in an office.  She is in first year of this high school level career.  She is from San Pedro Yepocapa in the state of Chimaltenango.  She studies weekends and helps her mother selling refrescos during the week.  She is enthusiastic about her studies and finds it interesting to explore and investigate with the computer.

The other students are all taking exams right now.  Their studies move along and they are all working hard to keep their grades up.

Francisca Sirin 2013In Francisca Sirin’s village, they celebrated their annual fair.  They had religious activiites and a cultural night with many traditional songs, dances, etc.  The last day, they had a parade and all the  schools participated. They also had a soccer game and  the young people, both boys and girls, took part.

Francisca and Sandra Lopez Cojti are both doing their student teaching.  Francisca is really enjoying working with the 4th graders, but she says that you need to pay attention to the mischievous children who don’t want to work.  Sandra is working with two grades, 3rd and 4th. It appears to her that the 3rd graders are more responsible than the 4th graders.

Barabara Tartan’s parents are very pleased because this is the last year of her career training.  They are busy in the fields sowing corn to harvest at the end of the year.  Barbara is a little Barbara Tartan 2013worried because her grades have gone done so she plans to work harder to bring them up.

Reina Cuxil’s school celebrated Mothers’ Day in the municipal gymnasium in Chimaltenango.  They presented a dance dressed up us little children and they sang songs.  She enjoyed making marionettes in her Art Expression course during the month.

Marilena Patzan is busy studying to be a bi-lingual secretary weekends and during the week she works with her family harvesting peas.  This year’s crop was a good one. Some they will sell for export and the rest they will sell in the local market.

The girls as always are busy and working hard to fulfill all their responsibilities.

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Paula de Carmen Cali Xocop


Paula is a 14 year old teenage girl, from San Juan Comalopa, Chimaltenango. She is currently in the 9th grade and hopes to continue to excel in her education; to give her and her family a better future. Her favorite subjects are Natural and Technical Sciences and Plastic Arts; which she studies without a problem. She gathers knowledge, strength, and motivation from her mother and teachers, as well as aid from the Kateri Fund. During Fund organized activities she demonstrates and expresses herself as a intelligent, active, and respectful woman. She has the support of her mother and six other siblings to continue on her education to improve her life.

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2012 Guatemalan Adventure Tour

In the Spring the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund hosted the annual Guatemalan Adventure Tour. Are you interested in travelling with the Fund to learn more about what we do? This interview with 2012 visitor Mar Kaden describes her experience.

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Kateri Tekakwitha Fund’s May Board Retreat

The Board of Directors of the Fund spent Saturday, May 26th at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos, CA at a Retreat led by Maggie Callaway. We spent the day getting to know each other and our ideas for the future of the Fund when Kay Sweeney, Managing Director will step down in three years. We feel the program in Guatemala is strong and really benefiting the women and young girls we work with. Our challenge over the next three years will be to increase our income so that we can hire the necessary staff here in the US to keep the Fund going.

Below is word cloud of the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund’s strengths and opportunities.

Wordle: KT Fund

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Health and Nutrition with the Women of Chumanzana

Over 2011 ADEMI Tecpán provided trainings on Health and Nutrition to Candelaria Sut, the Women’s Development Manager, who shared what she learned with the Women of Chumanzana. These workshops covered a range of topics, including; foods that pregnant women should eat before and after pregnancy, first aid for a person suffering from malnutrition, what vitamins are in various fruits and vegetables, consequences of an inadequate diet for both the baby and an expectant mother, the importance of prenatal vitamins and folic acid, and which foods are best for newborn babies up to 15 months to consume. After learning about these topics, the Women of Chumanzana have been sharing their knowledge with others in their community.

In January 2012, Kay Sweeney, the Fund Managing Director, joined Candelaria Sut on a trip to the home of Tim Magee, the Center for Sustainable Development Director, to get ideas to expand the organic gardening project in Chumanzana. Tim showed them around his garden and explained how he kept his dinner table always supplied with vegetables.

Tim’s garden is in raised beds and containers. The plots are relatively small, but by constantly replanting, he is able to always have something to harvest in Guatemala’s year-round growing climate.

This way of gardening suits the needs of the women in Chumanzana. They have had problems with erosion, vandalism, and their neighbors robbing their crops, so growing in pots in their patios using plastic bottles and other items for containers is practical. Candelaria added these new ideas to what the women already are doing. In these gardens the women are growing cilantro, onions, radishes, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, celery, leeks, beets, green beans, chard and other kinds of herbs. Traditional farming in Guatemala is planting at the beginning of the rainy season and harvesting when the dry season begins. With these patio gardens and rotating the plantings, as is done in Tim’s garden, the women will have to develop new habits. Growing many of these plants was new to the Women of Chumanzana, but the women are enjoying that the varieties of vegetables that they can grow. The Women of Chumanzana are adaptable, especially since it means there always will be something ready to eat.

The women also learned about composting. The method they learned required gathering a lot of things they did not readily have in their homes. Tim shared with Candelaria how to compost without any special materials, and she will be able to expand on what the women already know with her new knowledge. She even discovered that her brother was a resource. He works at a “worm farm” where the worms make fertilizer. Tim explained that a few worms added to the compost pile will make everything happen faster. Candelaria will explore getting some for the women to use.

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