A letter from Dennis Evans, who runs SLT Scholars:
“Dear family, friends and sponsors,
Schools in San Lucas have restarted – sort of.
The secondary schools will be working “hybrid”. For example, in one school a third of the students will attend classes in school every third day, and spend the other two days studying at home. There are just ten or twelve students in each classroom on any one day, well spaced out. The kids are so happy to see their friends again!
With ten students spaced out in a classroom there will be very little to distract them. A wonderful opportunity for teachers!
Of course, while students are keeping “social distance” in school, in the street before or after classes, they tend to huddle more! At least they are wearing masks. As they enter school they have their temperature checked and disinfect their hands with alcohol gel.
People were so, so thankful for the corn, and individual help we were able to give them, during the second part of 2020. The nutrition emergency has now abated. Very many people lost the full time jobs because of COVID, but as harvest season came, temporary jobs became available. The price of corn has dropped, and those who grow their beans or corn are glad of the harvest. I hope that in a few months time many will recover their full time jobs.
We have a small number of students studying in College.
One of them, Luis, was sponsored through junior high and high school, and his sponsor promised to help him in college. He graduated from high school in second place out of fifty students, but his sponsor was no longer able to help him. He worked laboring in a factory for two years, until a benefactor came who offered us college scholarships!
Luis has just finished his degree courses with an 85% average, and is going on for his Master’s degree. Almost unheard of for a Mayan from San Lucas, and only possible thanks to the generosity of his sponsors.
Also thanks to SLTS benefactors, the IMED junior high has bought the land beside the school, and will start building extra classrooms this year.
In spite of the Pandemic, the loss of jobs, the months of hardship trying to feed the family, parents want their children to carry on with their education. Very few students have dropped out. Parents – especially mothers – are doing all they can to ensure their kids continue in school.
We have sponsored more new students than ever, to try and ensure that good students get that chance. Now all we have to do is find sponsorships for them (unsubtle hint!)
Thank you to all who have sent in their sponsorship money. In these difficult times, if you’d rather send it to us in a month or two, that’s fine, but it helps to know it will be coming.
Normally in January various groups visit San Lucas. That’s not going to happen this year, but I would be happy to speak to a group on zoom, if they wished.
From a sunny, peaceful San Lucas, all best wishes