Escuela Rural Mixta Canton Xeabaj

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Close to the border with Departamento Solola, Escuela Rural Mixta Canton Xeabaj #1 is a tiny mountain school. It is remote, and far from any conveniences, like electricity and toilets, but the children are happy to be in school. Like most rural schools, it takes most of the early morning to get to the school, since the students must walk for miles to get from the mountain where they live to the mountain top where the school is.

These are shy kids, who rarely if ever see an outsider. The surfing T-shirts are came among the donated school supplies, and $40 of your donations bought the wood that rebuilt the desks! They show their respect by singing and reciting poems from memory for me when I visit. They ask no questions, but huddle together and whisper and giggle to each other in their Quiche Language.

Francisco Chavez is the teacher for all grades at this school, and stresses the importance of learning to read, write, count, and speak in Spanish. If one ever hopes to leave the mountain, you need these tools to survive.

Francisco has been busy! He is our only link to many of these schools, since he was born in this area, and speaks the dialect. He has opened many doors for The Pencil

He meets with community elders to discuss the importance of school attendance. He brings the kids back to school when they finish collecting the corn! He now travels from mountain to mountain with the huge boxes of school supplies that cannot be delivered to remote schools during the rainy season. Francisco has really grown as a community leader through your help. He is a teacher, but now is a coordinator for us, and has met many other teachers in other communities. As you can imagine, this new web of rural school teachers has begun some very powerful conversations and exchanges.We couldn’t function without him.

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