Photo by Kate Lord
Providing university scholarships to deserving young women in Guatemala
QUETZAL FUND SCHOLAR PRESENTS THE
“BILL OF RIGHTS FOR GIRLS” TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Angelica’s happiness radiates out like rays of sunshine on winter snow, transforming her grey, drab little home into the energy of possibilities.
It’s not material accumulations that make here heart smile, but the gift of an education. You see, Angelica happened to be born with an extraordinary intelligence. Without a “hand up” that gift would have been forever buried under the burden of work, early marriage, unending pregnancies, and extreme poverty.
Angelica is fortunate. A MAIA staff member found her just as she was finishing 6th grade, usually the last stop on the education train for poor indigenous girls. Excellent grades and fierce determination made her a perfect candidate, not just for the outstanding regular curriculum, but something very special.
ONE GIRL'S STORY
Zonia and her small family live up long, windy roads that look like spaghetti thrown across the mountains far above the capital city of her region. There they grow corn and a few vegetables. Their home consists of two small rooms built from cinder blocks with dirt floors. A couple of chickens scratch around outside. Zonia’s mom and grandmother speak no Spanish, only the local Mayan dialect, ensuring that they will never have a paying job outside their small, rented plot of land. They are the face of rural poverty in Guatemala.
Fortunately, Zonia had a few things going for her. The first, in spite of all her primitive living conditions, was her mother. This is a woman who was determined her daughter have a better life and was sure that education was the ticket to the door of a better future. That’s how Zonia finished 6th grade when almost all of the girls nearby dropped out to help at home.
“LET’S PICK UP OUR BOOKS AND OUR PENS. THEY ARE THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON. ONE CHILD, ONE TEACHER, ONE BOOK AND ONE PEN CAN CHANGE THE WORLD."