New Beca Students for 2016! January 15, 2016 No Comments

We are so happy and proud to welcome 9 bright-eyed new students to Beca Project for the 2016 school year. I’ve pasted a few photos below and you can view the whole set by clicking https://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/albums/72157662534808605.

Miriam Josefa Ajcac Bay and family
Miriam Josefa Ajcac Bay y familia

Vilma Rosario Tuch Mendoza
Vilma Rosario Tuch Mendoza

Ashley Maria Ajcac Pop and family
Ashley Maria Ajcac Pop y familia 1

Katarina Cruz Cruz
Katarina Cruz Cruz

Rosa Fatima Coche Cholotio and her mother
Rosa Fatima Coche Cholotio y madre

Maria Concepción Cortez Quiacain
Maria Concepción Cortez Quiacain

Plácido Baltazar Sanchez Rodriguez and her mother
Plácido Baltazar Sanchez Rodriguez y madre

Juan Pablo Raxic Chavajay
Juan Pablo Raxic Chavajay

Dorly Maximina Tuch Puac and her parents
Dorly Maximina Tuch Puac y padres

In preparation for the new school year, Beca Project students and their families attended an orientation meeting at the Cooperativa Spanish School, registered for school, were measured for school uniforms, and shopped for school supplies.

Mtg 5

Mtg 16

Shopping 2

Ana Judith

The complete set of the school prep photos is HERE.

Here’s to a successful year for 75 deserving Beca Project students in San Pedro la Laguna!

More to celebrate in San Pedro: local festivities and social projects November 20, 2015 No Comments

Mike joined me for my last week in San Pedro. We enjoyed bumping into Beca students and families around town

7

6

and visited the successful chocolate business that Beca Project university student Dorcas started with her sister and another friend.

12

16

We also took many of the Beca students and their families shopping for needed items thanks to additional donations from their sponsors. Here are a few highlights and there’s a full set of photos HERE.

1

18

51

We helped distribute cool soccer gear to deserving young athletes, an ongoing and growing project started by a Beca sponsor who visits San Pedro every year with her family

9

21

and shared in Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations with Mynor and his family.

21

If you’re interested, there’s a set of Día de los Muertos photos HERE.

I’m also pleased to share with you an update on the Kamoon home building project which was started by our friends at the Cooperativa Spanish School. We visited the beautiful most recently completed home owned by our friend Maria

6

and assisted with a video for the next family in line, the very sweet and deserving Quem Martin family.

There’s a complete set of these social project and visit photos HERE.

Recently, Beca Project student Rosalinda Magdalena Ixtetelá Gonzalez who is in her final year of a Business Administration Diversificado program was selected to represent her school in the competition for Queen of San Pedro. If you have a Facebook account you can view videos of her speech and the final event on the Beca Project Facebook page.

For those of you who don’t, here’s a screen shot from the video:
Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 1.49.28 PM

Rosalinda didn’t win the competition but she represented her family, her school, and Beca Project in a fabulous manner – I am so proud of her! The young woman who was selected to represent the town of San Pedro went on to win at the national level and will represent all indigenous women through a busy coming year.

Graduations 2015 November 15, 2015 No Comments

Another highlight of my Fall 2015 visit was watching Beca Students graduate from both Basico (similar to 9th grade in the US) and Diversificado (sort of combined high school/trade school) programs. The schools really celebrate their graduates and the pride of the parents shines like the sun. Some of the parents put on parties for their kids – also festive, proud times with delicious food. A complete set of photos of graduation festivities can be found HERE.

1

11

11

27

4

28

35

Fall 2015 visit to San Pedro la Laguna – Ice Cream Socials October 30, 2015 No Comments

In October and November 2015 I visited San Pedro again. Mynor and I decided to host a series of ice cream socials on the rooftop terrace at Ti Wachooch for Beca Project students and family members. We started by visiting every home in one day to pass out invitations, then hosted 5 socials, Monday through Friday of my 1st week there, 13-14 families per evening.

It was an amazing opportunity to meet with each student, interact with their families, talk about their future plans, and enjoy ice cream and the beautiful views. After dark we moved inside. I had a ‘photo booth’ activity set up and it was a blast watching the students and their families pose together for photos.

I’ve posted a few favorite photos below and you can view the entire set by clicking HERE.

3

19

17

77

94

Mynor visits Oregon! May 20, 2015 No Comments

2015 has been a wonderful year for Beca Project, and one highlight for us was Mynor’s visit to Oregon in mid May. He stayed with us less than a week but Mike and I enjoyed sharing our home and the varied climates and landscapes within an hour or so of our house with him and our son Carlos joined in on some of the adventures. Here are a few photos; you can check out a blog post with more information and photos HERE.

Near Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood
P1150308

Hiking near the John Day River in Cottonwood Canyon State Park
P1150333

Eagle Creek Falls trail in the Columbia River Gorge
P1150423

Posing with old growth trees
P1150443

Making s’mores in our backyard
P1150366

Beca Family Visits – Spring 2015 May 19, 2015 1 Comment

My husband Mike and I spent 3 wonderful weeks in Guatemala in March and April to celebrate Semana Santa in San Pedrano fashion, study Spanish at the Cooperativa Spanish School, further explore the area on foot and in kayaks, settle in to Ti Wachooch, our little home away from home there, spend time with our friends Mynor and Josefa and their boys, and visit with the families of this year’s new Beca Project students. Success on all counts!

I’ve selected 7 family visit photos to post here followed by 4 random shots of Beca students around town and on the job; you can view a set of more than 100 Beca photos on my Flickr site by clicking HERE.

If you’d like to view photos of some of our other adventures, click HERE for the main page for this trip; there’s a link for travel blog posts, too.

With Ingrid (left) and Telma Canajay
P1120028

With the family of Ana Maria Ujpan Gonzalez (center)
P1120046

The family of Juan Navichoc Cortez (left)
P1120154

With the family of Vicenta Clarita Puac Peneleu (2nd from left)
P1120166

With Domingo Sacach Chavajay and his mother and then enjoying rice and mama kitty in their kitchen
P1120404

P1120427

With Bryan Oliver Gonon (right) and family
P1120554

Rosa Yanira and her sister-in-law making tortillas
P1130063

Maria Chavajay Yaxon with her father and siblings
P1130573

Maria Elena Criado Quiacaín in her new job as the bilingual secretary of LIFE International School in Panajachel
P1120193

Andrea Guadelupe Navichoc Pacay and Josefa Angelina González Velásquez participating in a Semana Santa (Easter) procession
P1130650

MEET OUR NEW BECA STUDENTS FOR 2015! December 1, 2014 No Comments

This weekend our advisors in Guatemala, the directors of the Cooperativa Spanish School, held a meeting for our new 2015 students and their parents.

Beca Group2

I AM PLEASED AND PROUD TO INTRODUCE TO YOU:

Ana Maria Ujpan Gonzalez (with her parents)
Ana Maria Ujpan Gonzalez y padres

Bryan Oliver Gonon
Bryan Oliver Gonon

Domingo Sacach Chavajay y padres (with his parents)
Domingo Sacach Chavajay y padres

Juan Navichoc Cortez
Juan Navichoc Cortez

Gerson Danilo Sohom (with his parents)
Gerson Danilo Sohom y padres

Yoselin Carolina Petzey
Yoselin Carolina Petzey

Lucia Garcia Toc (with her father)
Lucia Garcia Toc y padre

Pablo Yojcom Chavajay (with his mother)
Pablo Yojcom Chavajay y madre

Rosa María Navichoc
Rosa María Navichoc y padres

Telma Elizabeth Canajay (with her mother)
Telma Elizabeth Canajay y madre

Florinda Rosario Tuch Quiacaín (with her family)
Florinda Rosario Tuch Quiacaín y familia

Here is our latest lovely addition, Ingrid Canajay; if she looks familiar, it’s because she is the twin sister of Telma, above
Ingrid

You can view a more complete set of photos HERE.

GRADUATIONS! No Comments

In October 2014 Mike and I returned to San Pedro La Laguna, timed to celebrate the graduations of a dozen Beca Project students from 5 different programs. I have posted a few photos below. You can check out an extensive post on my travel blog HERE and a huge set of photos HERE.

On November 6th, 2014, 6 Beca students graduated from the Luisa y Benjamin Paul Basico program (like our 7th/8th/9th grade).

Flor (left) makes her entrance
P1100754

Francisco receives his diploma
P1100762

Sharon and Candelaria have their much-deserved moments in the sun
DSCN6463

That’s me to Candelaria’s left – I was asked on stage to give out diplomas
P1100790

Eugenio is greeted by his proud parents
P1100801

Jeany and her family
DSCN6470

On November 7th we attended 2 graduations. The 1st was for Tono, Mariano, and Dorcas who graduated from the Magisterio (Teacher training) Diversificado program.

P1100868

Dorcas is on the right in the yellow huipil (blouse)
P1100869

Tono with his diploma
DSCN6487

Mariano signs the ledger
P1100881

In the neighboring town of San Juan, we watched Maria Elena graduate from a Bilingual Secretarial program.

She was 1 of the speakers!
P1100902

P1100916

We didn’t learn until we were in San Pedro that Mayke was set to graduate from a secretarial program in San Pedro 4 days after we had to leave; we were sad to miss it but I’m happy to share a few of the beautiful photos she emailed to me after the event.

IMG_0008

IMG_0002

Another Beca student, Miguel, graduated from a Diversificada program in the city of Xela, about 3 hours from San Pedro. I am BURSTING WITH PRIDE that all of these Diversificada graduates plan to enter university programs in 2015.

In addition to these beautiful ceremonies, we were also invited to a special Catholic mass and to meals and parties in the homes of some of the students. The pride of the families was evident at every turn. Happy trails!

P1100962

P1100925

P1100973

P1100968

2014 Beca Project Celebration September 24, 2014 No Comments

Another highlight of my 2014 trips to San Pedro was a celebration luncheon that included well over 300 Beca Project students and their families and more than a dozen sponsors. Staff of the Cooperativa Spanish School and some of their spouses prepared the meal which was served at the school’s beautiful new campus.

So much joy! I’ve included 9 photos below and you can click HERE to see the full set.

P1070376

P1070391

P1070420

P1070378

photo (31)

P1070404

P1070415

P1070384

P1070423

2014 Family Visits 1 Comment

As always, visiting Beca families was a highlight of my 2014 visits to San Pedro. I have included 15 photos below. The 1st 7 are from June and July visits with Beca sponsors who made the trip to San Pedro to meet their students. The final 8 are from visits Mynor and I made to the remaining families in July and August.

For a set with more than 200 photos including visits with all 55 families, click HERE.

P1060355

P1060365

P1060851

P1060929

P1060977

P1070028

P1070134

Here are a few favorites from later in my trip.
P1070556

P1080090

P1070636

P1070717

P1070740

P1080119

P1080074

P1080372