The programs on this page are ongoing.
Children’s Programs: Currently there are weekend Children’s Programs in five communities. These programs are conceived, proposed and run by scholarship recipients as part of their community service obligation. The Zinacantán Program started in 2009, followed by Crucero in 2010, Ocosingo in 2012, Yajalón in 2016 and Huixtan in 2017. Children meet for 3 hours to strengthen academic skills, learn about environmental stewardship and develop creativity. The goal is to stimulate interest in learning and encourage students to continue their education after the 5th grade. A nutritious meal is included.
A peek into the Ocosingo program.
A participant in the Crucero program
An extra session of the Zinacantán program to prepare
for Lenten festivities. The boys are all dressed as monks.
Two boys working hard in the new Huixtan program
Adult Literacy Program: The municipality of Chanal, and specifically the community of Naranjal, is about four hours from the principal city of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico. A group of women from Naranjal belong to the cooperative with which we partner and proposed a full year certified program of literacy for fifteen women who did not have the opportunity to complete their primary education. The ability to read and write will permit their participation in the community’s councils and assemblies. They are becoming valued members of their community, their self-esteem is increasing and it is giving them the self-confidence to dedicate themselves to other areas of learning and to take on new responsibilities. Because a number of men in the community were also interested, they were welcome to join the class. This program started in 2010 and ended in 2016. In 2016, there were many issues with teacher strikes in response to drastic changes made by the government to “modernize” schools. The teacher who had worked with this program for 6 years was no longer able to, and no replacement has been found as the community is very remote. We are pleased that the attendees had the success they did, and that many of the class members became literate as a result of this program.
Computers: Since 2007 we have funded a laptop to each participating community as well as three desk computers for the “computer corner” in the women’s center. We continue to replace them as needed.
Eye exams and glasses: All scholarship recipients are required to have an eye exam and those exams are also offered to any women and children in the cooperative. Eye glasses are provided as necessary.
Workshops: We fund educational workshops (marketing, domestic violence, alcoholism, current events, computer skills, gender equity, human rights, nutrition, etc.) both at the bi-monthly meetings and in communities.
Alternative Gifts International has been an amazing resource for us. Here is the video that Linda and Judith made for them in Chiapas in August, 2013.