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Adelita lives with her mother, one sister, and her family.  Her father is deceased and her mother farms but has been sick.  She has 12 siblings of whom she is the third youngest.  All are married including her younger 16 year old sister.  The youngest sister died recently at age 14. 

Adelita is the first in her family to graduate from high school.  She is strong, self-confident, and determined.  She loves poetry, dance, public speaking.  She does not want to be like her siblings and marry young.  She wants to get a degree in teaching, work with and mentor small children.

In 2017, she traveled to New York with a theater group.

 

Chonita is from a large family who lives in a very small house, shared with chickens and ducks, in the back alleys of Santiago. She has been saddled with a lot of responsibility to help with the family bead work business and bring in a little cash.  She resents the little bit of profit they receive for the hours of work as a middle man, especially when a street shop pockets most of the money.  Because of this, Chonita would like to have her own business, pay fair wages and help the women in her community.

Chonita is currently finishing her 2nd year in business administration at the University of Mariano Galvez, Escuintla. She is living with some of the other Q Fund girls in Antigua. This is a positive, energetic girl who has overcome many challenges in order to study.

Update 10/2018:
Chonita is halfway through a formal, 6-month internship with Friendship Bridge, a large microcredit organization with a central office near Antigua. She supports the office management of Friendship Bridge and attends university on the weekends.

 

Irma’s family lives in Guatemala City and own their own store.  She lived alone in Solola so that she could finish high school and continue with Starfish.  She has 5 siblings and she is the second youngest.  Her older siblings are well educated; her mother has no education.  Her brother has graduated from a university. 

Irma would like to run her own pharmacy.  She has respect for others and likes to help others reach their goals even when they say that they cannot.  She is caring, respects and values everyone, and is resilient.  As of January 2018, she is enrolled in her second year of nursing in Xela.

 

Irma is presently a Starfish mentor.  She spent her high school years doing community development around Lake Atitlan.  She recently participated in a 9 month practicum at a center where women receive assistance and support in start-up of their own business. 

    

Irma has come from a difficult family situation in which her father is deceased.  She has two younger siblings.  She has resilience and a positive, courageous attitude and is determined to meet her goals.   

 

Juana is majoring in Business Administration.  She wants to have her own clothing business.   Juana applied for and received a scholarship to study English at UVD (University del Valle de Guatemala) because she knows that employers want English speakers.  She goes there for two hours every morning and attends school in the afternoon. She has wonderful family support, expresses herself very well and is responsible.

She lives with her family and is the middle child with 2 brothers and 3 sisters.  An older brother and sister have graduated from high school.  Her parents are very supportive and enthusiastic about education for their children, but have limited income.   Her father went to the US to earn money to pay for his children’s education.  He became ill after 1 ½ years and had to return to Guatemala.  He is still paying off the coyote who got him to the states.  Her father wanted her older siblings to go to college but could not afford to send them.  He hopes that getting a scholarship will help Juana fulfill her dreams.

 

Juanita, the 2nd of seven children and the only girl, wants her own business and wants to see her community develop.  Her parents are very supportive of her educational efforts but are economically stressed.   Her father wants a better life for his children.  He currently works in agriculture, growing coffee plants that they sell. 

Juanita is a serious student and has excelled in her studies.  She often has the highest GPA in her group.   In addition to her studies, she obtained a part time job (December 2017) at Impact HUB in Antigua at an agricultural accelerator.  The fact that she is enrolled in the university in business administration was a big factor in her getting the job.  The job provides income for her, regular access to the internet, and means that she has less distance to travel to school on the week-ends. 

Update 10/2018:

Juanita works at Pomona Impact, an impact investment firm in Antigua, Guatemala.  She is a part of the AgTech team, which helps support entrepreneurs and innovation in the agricultural sector of Guatemala. She lives with several other Starfish graduates in the center of Antigua and attends university in a nearby city on Saturdays.

 

Lorena's physical disabilities and difficult family life have not dampened her spirit.  She was persistent in pursuing the opportunity to continue her education.  She applied for other scholarships and persevered with the application process until she was accepted to receive a scholarship through the Quetzal University Fund. 

Update 1/2018:
She is in her second year of law at the Rafael Landivar in Xela and is doing very well. 

 

Maria Victoria is the first in her family to complete high school.  She is the third of six children and lives with her parents, one older sister and two younger siblings.  She wants to study business so that she can own her own bank to help people in her community.  She currently works as a receptionist at a hotel in Solola.  Her mother is a community leader. 

Maria is poised, confident, determined, and has a lot of initiative. 

 

Ofelia is quiet and strong.  She loves math, learns fast and wants to show “si, se puede” (Yes, I can).  Her parents are very supportive.  Her father put himself through Junior High as an adult.  She is the 2nd of seven children. Her siblings are all in school and study together at night.  Her dad is a day worker and her mother is a weaver and a positive force in her life as well.

 

Sara Hilda is the fourth of six children and lives far out of town without internet services.  She was the first in her family to graduate from high school.  She has been out of high school for a few years and had a good GPA.  She goes to Panajachel every Sunday to study English.  She has been part of a task force to organize projects in her community and has given Spanish classes to kids in her community. 

No woman in her village can read or write, resulting in no chance for them to participate in community decisions.   Sara has a great desire to help change that to make life better for everyone in her community.   

Update 12/2018
Sara Hilda is now living in Panajachel and doing an internship at Starfish.