October 2017Facility Sponsor

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Lan Vwa<br />

<strong>Sponsor</strong>ship Network<br />

<strong>October</strong> 2017<br />

Another school year has come to an end in Joconal. We aren’t<br />

sure where the time went, but we have our third year of secondary<br />

classes under our belt. All of the students did very<br />

well this year, excelling in their classes. With their grades in<br />

hand, they are getting ready for their three month break before<br />

we see them again in January. As usual, our students have different<br />

plans for their break than you would expect. Here’s a quick note from Karina<br />

to tell you more:<br />

“The end of the year went well. The kids were ready for finals and<br />

‘vacation’. As you may know, most of our kids work during their vacation, because<br />

it is harvest season for the coffee farmers. They try to work as much as<br />

they can during this time. Before they go back to work, we will have our end<br />

of the year party on November 10th. We will be giving prizes to the kids that<br />

have the best grades, are good in sports, or are good artists. We will try to be<br />

online if anyone would like to be a part of the celebration. Thank you so much<br />

for making this possible. God bless.”<br />

3rd year<br />


Adam Wroe<br />

Follow up note from his trip:<br />

“During my time with the students, I asked them if they<br />

had ideas for any inventions they could make, and I<br />

would try and help the kids think of ways they could<br />

craft their inventions from the surroundings. They have<br />

a great amount of ingenuity. Nearly all of the ideas<br />

were meant to help people in need or to make their<br />

lives more efficient and beneficial. Also, I was able to<br />

talk to some of the elders of the village about what<br />

they think of the school; how it has been improving<br />

the lives of the students; and how it has been improving<br />

the village. They told me that they have high hopes<br />

for the future of their children and are very proud to<br />

see the progress they have been making.”<br />

Brand New Classrooms<br />

Our newest students in Joconal can’t wait to start school.<br />

When we first started working in Joconal, we saw a huge need for education<br />

at various levels. Children did not start school until age 7, and as we’ve<br />

mentioned before, the school ended at 6th grade. Knowing that they would walk<br />

three hours each day to attend school, we got started with secondary classes<br />

in order to prepare the youth of Joconal to pursue a better future.<br />

When classes began in January 2015, the need for educational support<br />

at the primary level was magnified. Most of our students were not testing at<br />

their grade level. It was extremely obvious that the teachers in the primary<br />

school had an impossible job.<br />

Children would start 1st grade without any education. They did not<br />

have books in their home, so they were not read to before bed. They did not<br />

1 out of 2<br />

children<br />

in Guatemala<br />

suffer from<br />

stunting caused<br />

by malnutrition<br />

according to the<br />

World Bank. Child<br />

malnutrition is<br />

linked to poverty,<br />

low levels of<br />

education, and poor<br />

access to health<br />

services.<br />

About us<br />

Where is located<br />

Joconal?<br />

Joconal is in the district<br />

of Zacapa. It is a five hour<br />

drive from Guatemala City to Joconal.<br />

The nearest city to Joconal<br />

is Gualan. It is a 45 minute hike<br />

from our school to the Honduras<br />

border.<br />

Where do we have<br />

classes?<br />

Our school is currently<br />

hosted at the<br />

Leiva’s Coffee farm. The<br />

Leivas turned two of their<br />

rooms at the farm house<br />

into school rooms.

know the alphabet or numbers. We learned that<br />

the first grade teacher in Joconal is responsible<br />

for teaching a room of 25 children everything they<br />

should have learned in Pre-school and Kindergarten<br />

in addition to the 1st grade curriculum without<br />

any assistance. This often led to children failing 1st<br />

grade and would create frustration in relationship<br />

to learning. It is common for children to drop out of<br />

school before completing 6th grade.<br />

With this in mind, we hoped there would be<br />

an opportunity to help meet the need for a Preschool<br />

and Kindergarten at some point. We began<br />

the reading program to begin addressing this need<br />

in what small ways we could, with hopes to help the<br />

community start a program for these 4 to 6 year old<br />

children.<br />

We began exploring the number of kids at<br />

the age for Pre-school and Kindergarten. We knew<br />

we didn’t have space for the children, but we wanted<br />

to be able to create a plan. In September, Karina<br />

spoke with a leader in Joconal. He shared the incredible<br />

news that he along with other leaders in<br />

the village would build their children a school, so<br />

they could have a Pre-school in Joconal. Karina and<br />

I were blown away when we heard this.<br />

Karina made sure I knew that it wasn’t going<br />

to be the best classroom, but honestly, I disagree.<br />

Nothing could be better than fathers coming<br />

together to build their children a school. Sure,<br />

a state of the art classroom would be great, but it<br />

would rob these men of the opportunity to provide<br />

for their children. I could not be happier. This shows<br />

that the people of Joconal have been empowered<br />

to invest in their village.<br />

With classrooms in the process of being<br />

built, we are getting ready to start the new Preschool<br />

and Kindergarten in January 2018. We have<br />

hired our new teachers and are preparing lesson<br />

plans. We could not be more excited for our next<br />

step in Joconal and look forward to introducing you<br />

to our new students in the weeks to come.

Say<br />

hello<br />

They want to<br />

hear from you!<br />

The students would love to hear from you. You have pictures of them. Why not<br />

send them a picture of you! Let them know who you are and things that you like<br />

to do. This is a great opportunity for them to learn about your culture and for<br />

you to encourage them to keep up the good work.<br />

In order to make things simple for you, we’ve created an email for your sponsorship<br />

communications. No need to worry about your Spanish skills, your<br />

email will go to our staff for translation before being sent to your student.<br />

Email: students@lanvwa.org<br />

Subject: From “your name”<br />

We love to share our mission!<br />

Would you like to get your church or community group involved in our mission, but you’re not<br />

sure how? Right now, we are looking for church and community groups to partner with in order<br />

to expand our mission. If you think your group would be interested, just send us a note. We’d be<br />

happy to give you materials to share or come share with you. Email kellymarie@lanvwa.org to get<br />

started.<br />

Our school would not be running without people<br />

like you. It has taken voices from all over the USA<br />

and Guatemala joining together to get us where<br />

we are. Thanks to your willingness to share, we<br />

have made a difference in the lives of an entire<br />

village, but we want to do more!<br />

That is why we created the Ambassador Program.<br />

We want to equip passionate people with the<br />

tools they need to make a bigger impact. That<br />

means taking our model to more students and<br />

impacting more communities through sustainable<br />

education.<br />

Sign-up to share your voice!<br />

Visit us online at LanVwa.org<br />

Get Involved<br />

We are so excited about what’s happening<br />

in Joconal, and we know that many of you<br />

are as well! We’ve been asked quite a bit<br />

lately how people can get plugged in. If you<br />

are one of those people that want to get<br />

involved, here are a few financial and volunteer<br />

needs we have moving into 2018:<br />

1. <strong>Sponsor</strong> one of our 22 new students<br />

at $38 a month.<br />

2. Support the cost of a desk for our<br />

Pre-school at $32 a piece.<br />

3. Buy a bag of supplies for our students<br />

at $85 a piece.<br />

4. Join our passionate team of professionals<br />

on the board of directors.<br />

5. Volunteer to translate documents<br />

to Spanish for 5 hours a month.<br />

6. Become an ambassador and make<br />

a difference in the lives of students<br />

throughout Guatemala.

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