“This School is My Blessing”
“I went to Basicos [middle school] in Antigua and started Carrera [high school] there, but in Antigua it was too expensive to study, so my parents looked for a different place for me to go to school. We needed a school that was affordable, that they could afford, but the options were too far away so I had to drop out.”
Belén finished grade nine, but wasn’t able to go any further. Her family couldn’t afford the high Carrera fees in the public school system, and Belén was forced to drop out.
While she worked in a stationary store, Belén watched her school friends continue in their studies and graduate from Carrera after two years. Even though Belén has a stability that many of our students do not—she comes from a home with both parents, with a father who has stable work as a carpenter—her family was unable to make tuition payments in the public system.
Belén heard about Global Shore from her aunt and started classes at our school in January 2016 in the Secretary stream of our Carrera program. Because of your partnership with Global Shore, Belén was able to continue her education.
We work to raise up leaders in Guatemala, and to support students who could not study otherwise. We aim to provide quality education, and Belén could see the difference when she came. “The teachers here are really different. They’re more focused on their students and always looking out for you. In public school it was like the teachers didn’t care what happened. They only cared about getting paid and only half-taught. Here, though, the teachers focus on our learning.”
“This school is the best thing in my life. I feel grateful to God for the opportunity of studying here.”
“The focus on God here is so different from what it was in my previous school. Here you learn about God every day, and about how to live… This school is my blessing. Each day I learn about God and His hope for my life.”
What’s more, Belén shared: “In this school I met my best friend and now we are like sisters. We met here at school but our friendship is really deep despite the short time we’ve known each other. It’s a friendship where one falls down and the other picks them up. I think sometimes friendship isn’t about the amount of time you’ve known each other, but the depth of the friendship.” Our school is providing education for Belén, but where Belén lost her friendships with schoolmates when she dropped out, God provided a friend as close as a sister.
Belén shared that she wants to get a degree in Hotel and Tourism Administration. “In Antigua the field of tourism is wide open—there’s a lot of work there. I’d like to own a hotel one day.”
“This school is the best thing in my life,” Belén wrote. “I feel grateful to God for the opportunity of studying here. Even though there will be problems, God was, is, and will be good to me.”
2017 Summer Program
This year marks our 14th annual Summer Program! The Summer Program is a four month opportunity for young adults in which they spend the first two months working on an asparagus farm while growing in their relationships with Christ together. In July, the team will fly down to Guatemala to serve with us on the ground for over six weeks.
The five young women participating on the program this year have spent the past month working long hours in the asparagus packhouse and engaging in intentional discipleship through group nights and early morning devotionals. Here’s what Julie Bulawka (pictured to the far left) has to say about her time so far:
“First and foremost, I’ve never seen so much asparagus in my life. I actually didn’t think this much could possibly exist in one place at one time. It’s crazy! It has given me a whole new appreciation for how many hours go into each vegetable at the grocery store. The work itself isn’t difficult, but the repetitive nature of it and long hours are certainly challenging. However, as my team leaders have been repeating constantly, “manual labour leads to spiritual formation.” And I have found this to be true! Living in Norfolk County and working in a packinghouse has been such a contrast to my everyday life. I am a typical university student: a skilled procrastinator, very busy, and often quite stressed because of how busy I’ve made myself (and of course, how much I’ve procrastinated). However, in the last month of being here, the pace has been entirely different. Of course the workdays are long, but I am not running from commitment to commitment, frantically trying to finish an essay, or trying to be in five places at once. And I think this is where God has been meeting me.”
We have welcomed two new teachers, Leo (left) and Emerson (right) to CCAF! Leo is the new librarian and Emerson is the new physical education teacher. Leo is married to one of our school principals, Karina, and has previously taught with us. We are so happy to have him around again! Emerson lives in Jocotenango with his grandma and sister and loves to serve at his church. With the addition of these new teachers, there is now more time available for the school pastor, Jervin, to counsel our students. This is a huge answer to prayer and we are thankful for all of our teachers and everything they do for their students!
Serve in Guatemala for a Year
One of the most tangible ways for you to be involved in what God is doing in Guatemala is through joining us in the school! Graduating with a solid grasp of the English language is a huge economic boost for our students; it opens so many doors for them and has the potential to transform their entire family. 2018 might seem like its pretty far away, but our applications for the next school year are now open and the deadline is fast approaching!
If you know someone that is passionate about service, overseas experience, and working with kids, spread the word! We have six positions available, both for teachers and teacher assistants. A formal TEFL degree or teaching experience is not a requirement, but an openness to living in a new culture and a servant-heart are a must. You can find out the details here.
The deadline to apply is August 1st.
Carrera Building Update
Construction for the second floor of our carrera school building is beginning to slow down and nearly complete! Earlier this year, the Board gave approval for the construction and furnishing of four classrooms on the second storey of the school. As you can see in the picture to the left, the construction of the classrooms and parging of the walls has been completed! The school’s construction team is currently working on putting in the floors and, once that is complete, we can begin furnishing the classrooms!
We want to thank all of the teams as well as donors that helped make this happen. Because of you, there will be enough classrooms available for the next group of carrera students in 2018!