Quaker Scholarship Students Receive Computers

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24 students in a Quaker non-sectarian scholarship/loan program received computers, monitors, and printers in 2007, almost all of them Maya, and bilingual in Spanish and one of 23 Mayan languages. Miguel Angel Costop, Director of the Quaker program, said in an email “As you can see, in many cases several members of the family came to pick up the computers. I have no doubt that the event was something very important to them. The parents usually gave us very respectful thanks for the gift of computers.”
Nohelia Cun Apen
Nohelia Cun Apen, far left, with her parents and three siblings, taken at the Quaker’s office. Nohelia studies accounting, a secondary career, and comes from San José Poaquil, Chimaltenango. She is 16, speaks the Mayan language Kaqchikel, and is the first of 7 children, so all of them are potential users of the machine. Right now there is another sister studying basico (junior high school) that is fully using the computer also. She said she uses it basically for word processing and lots of spread sheets (Excel) in order to do her accounting homework. She says everybody at home is very happy because buying a new one would have meant at least ten times that amount.” DELL PENTIUM III DONATED BY LAURA LEEDS.
Enrique Jom Lem, at a hotel in Coban where the students come every month for interviews to report on their progress and to pick up their checks. Miguel Angel reports: “He is 31, speaks the Mayan language Poqomchi, and is in the last year of secondary teaching at a private university in Quiché. He comes from Aldea Pajuil, in Chicamán, El Quiche and is married with two children.

Benjamin Garcia Barreno. Miguel Angel reports: ” Benjamín lives in Paraje Pujacar a village of Totonicapán in the western highlands. He is 28 years old, speaks the Mayan language K’iche, married, with 2 children: 5 and 4 years old. He is studying at university in order to become a secondary teacher and then continue to be a “licenciado” (6 years career) in education. He says he practically didn’t know anything about computers but with the gift he could learn, mostly by himself, during vacations how to use the basics and to use Word and Excel which is what he will use the most. He also says he has started to teach his kids how to use the computer so they don’t have the same problem he had.” COMPUTER DONATED BY WARREN RANSOM, DARIEN.
Ana  ElizabethSirin
Ana Elizabeth Sirin, with her parents and two little sisters. Miguel Angel reports: “She is 17 years old, speaks K’iche, and studies bilingual elementary teaching (secondary level) in a boarding national school in Chimaltenango. She is from Caserío Chuacruz, in San José Poaquil, Chimaltenango. She has 4 siblings, one older who is also an elementary teacher but unemployed. She left the computer at home and uses it on the weekends when she goes to visit her family. Although she explains her oldest sister is using it in order to learn computers since she plans to go on to university in the future. Ana explains that three other cousins are coming to learn how to use it and she uses the machine to do her weekend homework which according to her is an awful lot! Before having the computer she had to pass first to her town and spend a couple of hours at an internet café to make her homework before getting home on the weekends. Now she can go straight home and do the work at her house.”

Carlos Enrique Butz Caal, left. Miguel Angel reports: “Carlos is 22, speaks the Mayan language Q’eqchi, lives in Aldea Chaimal, San Pedro Carchá, Alta Verapaz, in the northern highlands of the country. He is studying to become a professional nurse, which is a three years university career. He says he is sharing the computer with 3 younger sisters studying basicos and one in primary.
Jaime Torres, Quaker bookkeeper, giving a computer to Gloria Marina Enrique Lara. Miguel Angel reports: Gloria is 19 years old, does not speak a Mayan language, and lives with her mother and two younger sisters in a very humble house in San José Poaquil, Chimaltenango. Because of the need of money, the three sisters have to work and she is the only one that has started a secondary career: elementary teacher. Although she says now with the computer her sisters have shown some interest in learning about how it works and probably will start their studies again.” GLORIA’S COMPUTER WAS DONATED BY STREETER TECHNOLOGY.
Braulio Mardoqueo Mendez Juarez, with his father. Reports Miguel Angel “Bruno is 21, speaks the Mayan language Mam, is from Aldea Chipomal in Concepción Tutuapa, San Marcos. He is in his last year of bilingual elementary education at a semi-boarding catholic school in the department of Sololá. The school gives them food but not a place to stay. He is renting a room with other 2 friends in a house of with about 10 guests. He says he had to pay about Q125 ($16) to make some repairs to the machine (he couldn’t remember what exactly). He says the other boys staying at the same house sometimes use the computer, especially to do written reports. They have agreed to buy the ink for the printer together every time it is finished. The other boys are studying the same career at the same school.”

Albertina Sanic Chipix
Albertina Sanic Chipix, far left, with her parents and siblings. Miguel Angel reports: “The computer was ok. She only needed to change to Spanish the OS, for this she paid Q175.00 ($23). Albertina is studying to become an elementary teacher (secondary career) and is 21 years old and lives with her parents and 5 younger siblings. They live in aldea Hacienda María, one hour from her town, San José Poaquil in Chimaltenango. One brother is studying basico (junior high school) at his village and both Albertina and her brother are using the computer. She says they have started to teach her youngest siblings, three of whom are in elementary school. According to her without this help her brothers and sisters wouldn’t have the chance to even know a computer.”

Victor Manuel Ixim Colorado, receiving his computer at a hotel in Coban. Miguel Angel reports: “Victor is 35 years old, speaks the Mayan language Poqomchi, is married, and has 5 children, three of them in primary. He is studying secondary bilingual teaching and says now things are much easy with his studies because since he studies on a weekend plan, group meetings and homework are very common. What they usually do is divide the homework the group has and everybody has to do his part at home and then they put all the parts together. For him this was particularly complicated because his village, Belejú, in Chicamán, Quiché barely has electricity so he had to go to town, almost an hour by car or three walking. Another advantage he sees is that his children are already discovering how to use a computer. He had to pay Q100 to change the OS to Spanish and put new programs. He also bought a battery and a new printer because the one he got didn’t work. But he says he is very happy and says thanks a lot for the gift.” November 21, 2007. COMPUTER DONATED BY BOB BANTLE, DARIEN.

Micaela Tzaj Cotiy, right, with her younger sister. Is Micaela smiling because she is the one getting a computer? Miguel Angel reports: “She is 27, from Nahuala, Solola, speaks the Mayan language K’iche, and is in her sixth year of bilingual education. She has reported that the computer if working fine after changing to Spanish the OS and buying a new mouse since the one she got was old and didn’t work fine. She said she had to pay Q300 ($40) for both things. She is using it a lot since this year they have their seminar (which is some kind of class investigation they do during almost the whole year) and they have to do a lot of reports.”

Jaime, staff member of the Quaker Scholarship Program, giving a computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and printer to student Roberto Bulux. He is 18 years old and lives in Aldea Vista Bella, Tecpán, Chimaltenango. He is studying agriculture at the secondary level. He and his younger brother live with their grandmother since his father died and the mother abandoned them several years ago. For them getting a computer was something really big because they barely got money to buy their school supplies. Roberto explains he had to pay Q200 ($26) for making some changes in his computer. He had to work several weekends in the fields in order to collect that money but now the computer is working fine. It is very valuable for him since he studies all day and gets home late in the evening. It was common for him to spend a night with some friend with computers but now he can do his homework at home.
Elvira Ramirez Mejia. Miguel Angel reports: “She is 20, speaks the Mayan language Mam, is the first of 12 children living in a community of refugees who returned from Mexico several years ago. She lives in San José El Carmen, Patulul, Suchitepequez in the south coast. She is studying secondary teaching with specialization in physics and math.

Edgar Rudy Tepaz Con, Reports Miguel Angel “Edgar speaks K’iche, is 25 years old and studying secondary teaching (math and physics) at university in Quetzaltenango. Edgar lost one arm during an electrical accident several years ago and that plus the fact he is coming from a very poor family from Antigua Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán, Sololá have complicated a lot his dreams, including studying. He has tried hard to study, that’s why we decided to give him one of the computers in order to stimulate him to keep going. He reports the computer is being of great use and value for him because he usually had to pay internet cafes at other towns and the fact of not having one arm makes traveling in buses, and sometimes pick ups, something very hard. COMPUTER DONATED BY WARREN RANSOM, DARIEN.


José María studies law at university Mariano Galvez in Totonicapàn, he lives in Aldea Chuanoj, Toto. He says there are four constantly users of the machine: two sisters, one in secondary and another one at university and himself. There is another sister in primary and even she is learning now how to use the computer. He is very grateful and happy for the gift because he says now studying for him and his sisters have become much easier because they don’t have to pay for renting a computer. His only concern is that sometimes they have wait in line in order to use the machine!! Computer donated by Warren Ransom.
Miguel Angel reports: “This young student, Oscar Pa Cho, lives in Aldea San Marcos, San Juan Chamelco in Alta Verapaz and studies professional nursing in Cobán. His family has currently 12 members, including 2 nephews and the mother, the father is dead. The three oldest brothers, including Oscar, are working and studying. One of them is a teacher and both Oscar and the other one don’t have a permanent job. The computer he received is now being used by the three brothers studying at the university. According to Oscar they are very happy because now they don’t have to pay too much in renting computers. DELL INSPIRON LAPTOP 3500 LAPTOP DONATED BY TUCKER LEE.


Miguel Angel reports: “Gabriel is 20 years old, studying agronomy at a secondary level. He is from Aldea El Limonar, Jacaltenango (I guess you know what town is this) He is studying at a national school in San Marcos. He asked for money to buy a computer since this is his last year and there are a lot of reports he has to do, especially when he starts his final practice. We know he comes from a poor campesino family so we gave him one of the computers.

Miguel Angel reports: “Santos studies law at the San Carlos University in Cobán, he comes from Cuarto Pueblo, a community in the Ixcán, Quiché. Since last year he asked money to buy a computer since law requires a lot of written homework. This year we gave him this lap top and we heard back from him that the computer was ok.” LAPTOP DONATED BY THE SCHLINKERT FAMILY, DARIEN, NOW IN ENGLAND.

She is 19 years old and is studying her second year in medicine. She comes from a non indigenous family from El Tejar, in the department of Chimaltenango. Even though her home town is relatively close to Guatemala City (about 32 miles) she needed our help to continue her career. Her mother works as a teacher in a private secondary school, where the payment is very low compared to what she could earn in a public school, but it has been the only job she has been able to get. Her father used to work in a company in Guatemala City but sadly he was fired. Now he is doing all kinds of informal jobs, like selling home-made ice cream in the streets, which doesn’t make very much profit. For this reason they have problems in supporting their three children and especially the career of Ana Beatriz, even though she is a very brilliant student. In the recent years our students in medicine have had problems in passing the courses, especially in the first two years. But since the beginning, Ana came with grades above the usual average of our students and she finished the first year in medicine satisfactorily. She is a very good example of many people in urban places who have some advantages over rural people but also have lots of problems in achieving their goals. After she graduates as a general doctor she would like to become a pediatrician and work with the children of her home.



Dr. Eric P. Neibart, infectious disease and internal medicine in New york City, donated a new stethoscope to the Quaker program. He also donated medicines to the Maryknoll hospital in Jacaltenango.

Letter from Migual Angel, Director of the Quaker scholarship program:

Dear Don,

Here is the student who got the stethoscope,

His name is Ernesto Estrada Atz, a 30 years old man from Aldea Xejuyú, San Martín Jilotepeque in the department of Chimaltenango. He entered the third year of medicine this year in the San Carlos University. He comes from a very humble family from San Martín, one of the most hit towns in Chimaltenango during the violence of the 80’s. His father was a promotor de salud and did a lot of social work with the campesinos in his area, but he was killed by the army. Probably because of that Ernesto always felt a strong wish to become a doctor. He has had to struggle against many problems in order to keep studying medicine. He has failed twice because of many factors, especially money. In the years before entering our program he has had to work part time in order to survive at the university and this has affect his studies. He is currently very active in his aldea since he studied some veterinarian course given by a foreigner NGO and attends the animals of the campesinos in his aldea. For some of them he is already a doctor. We are attaching two pictures, taken the day we gave the stethoscope to him.

Thank you very much for all your support,

Miguel Angel



Scholarship receipant Eulalia Paiz in Ixtahuacan cleaning wound of Juan Ordonez Mendez who came in contact with electric power lines while working on a roof.

Guate medicine
Eulalia Paiz taking a blood sample of diabetic Francisca Mendez, Ixtahuacan.

Quaker scholarship student Eiulalia Paiz with Dr. Michael Balick of the New York Botanical Garden. Dr. Balick has agreed to mentor Eulalia in a reaserch project on the use of the salco plant in traditional Mayan medicine.

Students watching student-presented skits during Saturday night’s entertainment.

From left, Miguel Angel Costop, Jaime, Martha Dugan (Director of the program from New York) and Meme Romero. Miguel Angel refers to the three of them as “the three Musketeers.”

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