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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 her heart smile, but the gift of an education. You see, Angelica happened to be born with 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.

As an experiment, Angelica and two other MAIA students were placed in a small international school taught entirely in English. Before embarking on this challenging trail, they would need intensive language training.  The first several months before formal classes began, they spent seven hours each day immersed in this complicated language. 

With supportive parents, small classes, and dedicated teachers, Angelica began on an amazing trajectory to a radically different life.  In this school her favorite courses were biology and math. After graduation, she applied and was accepted to the best university in Guatemala, where with a scholarship from the Quetzal Fund, she is majoring in microbiology and biochemistry.  She is about to finish her first year.  In addition to academics, Angelica has had another very special opportunity. An organization in New York City, She’s the First, is a partner with MAIA and offers supportive scholarships to young women who are the first in their families to attend high school or college. During her high school years Angelica was a recipient.


This year She’s the First asked 1000 females all over the world to submit what they would like to see on a “Bill of Rights for Girls.” Angelica applied and was accepted to be one of 15 young women to choose the final ten rights. She was then invited to travel to New York again and present these to a She’s the First gathering. Subsequently, the United Nations requested that these young women present to both the head of the Woman’s UN, as well as the Deputy Secretary General. Of the six, Angelica was the one selected to make the presentation.  If the UN signs this “Bill of Rights for the Girl” it will become an official UN document. (This is a very long way from her humble beginnings in a small mountain village in Guatemala!).


Angelica is certainly a star in the sky of her people. And she is also infused with a heavy dose of kindness. She yearns to study and do well so she can help her community and country.


This is what can be done with a little help from you, our awesome Quetzal Fund donors. You’ve helped birth this hidden life into the light of the 21st century. You’ve helped gift the world with someone who will give and give and light the candle of many lives. Please take a moment to appreciate and congratulate your goodness and generosity.