In addition to me, sponsors of 6 Beca Project students have joined us this week, many for the 1st time - a highlight was visiting the families in their homes for the opportunity to ask questions, see student work, and express our gratitude to each other. Mynor shows us the way and takes care of translations between 3 languages: English, Spanish, and Tz'utujil, the local Maya language. The students speak Tz'utujil and Spanish, which they learned in school, and are also studying English. The majority of the parents did not have the opportunity to attend school so do not speak Spanish. Several told us they remember hiding under beds when teachers would go from house to house, asking about school age children; their parents felt that lazy people go to school and the others worked hard at home and in the fields. For many of them it was decades later they learned the benefits of education.
I hope these photos impart at least some of the joy of interacting and sharing that we feel with every visit.
Friday evening we took the kids shopping for needed items: clothes, shoes, personal items, plus corn and other staples for their families. Some of the sponsors are conversant in Spanish but it would be difficult to tell which from the photos below; some kinds of connection don't really require it.
Thanks to the mothers of Juan Carlos, Rosa Yanira, and Evelin Elena, we had a wonderful opportunity to observe master back strap loom weavers in action and to try it ourselves. Like tortillas, they make it look far easier than it is.
Time for another pickup ride up the hill (note the roadside gas station).
They prepared for us a type of corn-based atole used for celebrations called matz.
And finally, another trek back down into town.
You can find the complete photo sets for this trip HERE.