Wednesday, January 11, 2012

School's In - Almost! Planning is Underway in San Antonio Palopo

From Kathy in San Antonio Palopo:
Once again I find myself in this amazing village, working with delightful Mayans.  My experience is mostly with  women because we have hired women to work with women and children in the Centro Qawinaq.  However there are some great men too.  One, Rodolfo, who organizes our stove deliveries in Santa Catarina, his helper Martin; Francisco who is the President of the board of directors for the Centro in San Antonio; the directors of the schools, and lots more.
But back to the women.  With Felipa our Centro coordinator, I have just spent the better part of 3 days organizing scholarship students, new ones and on-going.  Everything from deciding on new candidates,  finding out how much their costs will be this year,  to pricing and ordering school supplies -- keeping all within the budget.  We are fine-tuning the process too.  The students are required to help out in the Centro during the year. And this year our coordinator will be able to keep a much closer eye on their participation and their school marks; school fees will be paid monthly instead of annually as before.  My biggest challenge is having to say `no ´ to the queries.  Amazing what they can´t do for want of under $200 (for a year in middle school).
This year we are going to shop locally for school supplies.  The `librería´ here in San Antonio is being extremely helpful.  And their prices seem comparable with the bigger store we usually go to in Panajachel where they are so busy this week that they spread right out on the street in front of them.  We will not only be buying supplies for our 15 scholarship students, we will also bag up enough for about 100 primary students and give them to families with limited resources.

School starts Monday for most students so this will presumably be finished then.
Then we move on to planning programs for 2012 in the Centro, hiring a new assistant or perhaps 2 part timers, preparing the budget,  and when that is all done it will be time to start finding more families that need stoves.  I will be ready for a vacation after that!   

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