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Easter Newsletter 2017

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Dear Friends and Sponsors,

EASTER 2017

The Yashalum scholarship students wish all of you a very Happy Easter.

Holy Week is an active time of year in Yajalon. Most of vacation is spent participating in religious processions and liturgy. The indigenous Maya commemorate the Passion for a week,

beginning on Palm Sunday and ending on Easter. The Passion is portrayed by volunteers who reenact the historical event. Led by “Jesus,” people walk in procession, carrying the colonial- period statues from the church through the streets of town, commemorating the sorrow of the crucifixion and the joy of the Easter rising.

The majority of the indigenous celebrate Easter Mass at midnight on Holy Saturday at Misa de Gallo, or “Mass of the Crowing Rooster.” After Mass, they return home to celebrate a family meal. dec2

Easter Sunday is reserved for the blessings of new life. Young animals, seeds, beans, corn and medicinal herbs are brought to the Church to be sprinkled with Holy Water. Children receive a special blessing and prayers for good health and a long life. After the Holy Week celebrations, the people are filled with new hope that the May rains will come in time for the planting of next year’s crops.

Our students are especially hopeful that through their personal efforts, the sacrifices of their parents and the generosity of their sponsors, they will continue moving forward, building

better lives for themselves and their communities.

Thank You and Happy Easter!
The Staff of Mission Teaching Foundation

 


YASHALUM DE SANTIAGO APOSTOL A.C.
“Con tu ayuda forjaremos caminos buenos”
Report of Activities for First Part of 2017

We began the year with a meeting of the Board of Directors and the staff to introduce a new member Juan Gutiérrez, who will coordinate agricultural projects for the program. Each of the staff signed a work contract to protect his or her rights under Mexican law.

On January 9, we had a visit from one our longtime sponsors, Sara Dagget, and her friend, Sara González. They both joined us on visits to students in the local high schools, activities at the Boys’ Ranch, and a trip to the Mayan village of “Land and Liberty.”

We also took the opportunity to plan the year´s activities, with special attention to preparing our high school graduates for their college admission testing.

MAINTENANCE
We had meetings with the students to coordinate their activities of general comportment, cleanliness and meal planning.

The students expressed the need to repair or replace kitchen utensils, bed frames and foam mattresses, lockers, curtains and metal protectors.  They also indicated the deterioration of several doors, tables and clothes washing sinks.

We discussed with the following topics with the students and parents:

  1. “Rules and Regulations” and workshops in vocational orientation and goal setting.
  2. The importance and tallying of hours of service for students and their parents. Reminding the students that education is a gift from God that must be paid back in service to their communities.
  3. Workshop on personal emotional health and building self-esteem.
  4. Yearly visit to local public schools and to the centers where the students give service hours (hospital, clinic, parish, alphabetization, local nonprofits, etc.).
  5. How to write thank you letters for sponsors.
  6. The need to always work to improve school grades.
  7. Workshops on gender rights sponsored by the Canadian Embassy.

DEVELOPMENT OF RESOURCES
An agreement was reached with a local public university, UNICH, for their students to carry out agricultural projects at the Boys´ Ranch. Provisions were made for several of the university students from the mountain villages to live at the Ranch while attending the university.

We found professional help in the State capital to maintain the water filters on the Boys´ Ranch and Girls’ residence to guarantee better health for the students.

We developed a Web Site for Yashalum with the help of our college grads, Itzel Domínguez and Leonardo Gutiérrez Martínez. This will be a great help to publicize the Chiapas Education Program: http://www.yashalumdesantiagoapostolac.org.mx/

Local Projects

Coffee Harvest and Preparation of Coffee Fields.

Vegetable Gardens to Improve the Diet of the Students.

Compiled by
HERMEGILDO MENDEZ GUTIERREZ
GENERAL DIRECTOR OF YASHALUM

 
 

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