“Without the help I’ve received from Mil Milagros,” says Rosa Linda Méndez, 18, “I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
When most Indigenous girls over 15 in Guatemala receive only three years of education, graduating from high school is a momentous occasion. Mil Milagros Community Coordinators, Rosa Linda, and her parents gathered at the Mil Milagros office in early December to celebrate her graduation–an achievement many years in the making.
Rosa Linda and her family had been a part of MM programs since 2008 in former partner community Chuitinamit. When she graduated from sixth grade, she was selected by MM leadership to receive a scholarship to middle school and then high school, receiving financial support for uniforms, books, and supplies, and monthly phone calls and support from Education Program staff to make sure she was on track to graduate. “I’m so happy and grateful,” Rosa Linda told us, “because I’m the first person in my family to graduate…it has been such a blessing in my life to be able to keep learning.”
Rosa Linda’s family was emotional as they described what this moment meant for them. “My husband and I don’t have any schooling,” her mother, Anastasia, told us. “I remember as a child, they told us to hide when teachers would come by looking for students so we wouldn’t have to sign up for classes. The old way of thinking, of not giving women opportunities because they get married and leave the home, is different now–we’ve encouraged Rosa Linda to keep studying so that she can have a better future.”
With her degree, Rosa Linda hopes to keep studying, and to land a stable job as a police officer so that she can support herself and her family: “They gave me everything they could–they’re my motivation.”
Mil Milagros leaders plan to expand the reach of our programs to double the number of communities in 2023. That means more students like Rosa Linda, more teachers, and more parents will have access to quality education, health information, and parenting support. Will you help us reach our goal?
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