Felipe is the first and only member of his family to have an education and he was born with a disability in his hand where such things as writing were challenging for him growing up.
Felipe briefly went to school when he was 10 years old but had to leave it to help his family economically. When Felipe was around 18 years old, he met Abraham, our lead teacher, and restarted his first grade year, following an 'accelerated' elementary school program. This was before the Friendship School and Abraham taught Felipe wherever her could: under a tree, in the church down the street, or in his family home. Throughout this time, Felipe had to leave school off and on to help his family but finally achieved his 6th grade education. Sadly, Felipe could not afford to continue his education beyond 6th grade.
It was because of Felipe that Abraham pursued the dream of opening a school with Basico (Jr. High) together with Doug. After the Friendship School was started, Felipe completed Basico and today is completing high school through a GFSF scholarship.
Today, Felipe travels to a nearby city to attend high school and to do so, he travels 3 hours EACH WAY twice a week for the weekend program he is part of. All other days he continues working in the fields to help his family.
Felipe would like to someday pursue a degree in law or social justice. He has been so fortunate; our teachers have injected a 'can-do' mentality in Felipe and he plans to continue his education all the way into College, against all of the hurdles of his disability and his family's level of poverty. We are incredibly proud of Felipe's accomplishments.
Yadira Dorca Martinez
Grade: Medical School @ University
Yadira is a former student of the Friendship School whose family
struggled to pay for her education. In Yadira's family, education is
very important and they managed to pay her expenses through 5th grade,
but she then had to drop out. Our school allowed her to continue her
education, free of cost.
Yadira graduated from our program as a 9th grader
and paid for her high school education by working part
time at our school. Through a donor’s financial sponsorship,
Dorca is now studying at the university to
become a Doctor and is receiving some of the highest
marks in her class. She is also one of the only, if not
the only, Mayan student in most of her classes.
Yadira is one of the many examples of students we
help to educate.
Grade: Career as teacher
Juan is a former student of the Friendship School whose family
struggled to pay for his education. Juan wanted desperately to continue
with his education beyond 5th grade, but in his village, there was not
any financial assistance for 7th grade and beyond. His family would need
to pay for his schooling, which they could not afford.
Without our school, Juan would not have been able to continue.
Through our support, Juan graduated from our program as a 9th grader
and paid for his high school education by working part time. Juan struggled but
managed to continue his education. Today, Juan is
a junior high teacher in a nearby village, sharing his
gift of education with others.
Juan was so grateful for the opportunity our school
gave him that he brought his nephew to register at
Students like Juan will continue to give back to their
communities. Education is the key!
Edwin Rolando Calel
Grade: career as accountant
Edwin’s mom was having a difficult time, being a single mom and not
having a lot of money. During these hard times, Edwin was discouraged
and had no hopes to continue his education. He soon decided that he did
not want to suffer any longer and was determined to help his mom. He
continued to study at a night school and during the day, repaired shoes
to pay for his education.
Edwin is now a proud graduate and received his degree as a technical
accountant. He holds a special place in his heart for Kamawanik
Institute, and wants to thank them for helping motivate him to reach his
and for helping him realize that everything is possible. Edwin has two younger siblings. They are very poor people and he was the first person from his village to graduate.