The Mission Committee and the El Salvador interest group are pleased to announce that our church is sponsoring five students from Muñoces in their efforts to attend high school this school year. For a number of years, we have been designating some of the funds raised for El Salvador to go for scholarships and had accumulated $1000 in the scholarship fund but have never been asked to support a student. Last year we discovered the problem. The school in Muñoces only goes through the sixth grade and then a student must walk to El Tablón to continue on to "middle school". If a student completes school in El Tablón and wants to continue on to high school they must find a way to get to or live in Berlin…the closest high school. Because all Muñoces students complete middle school in El Tablón, Heartland Presbyterian Church… which is the partner church with El Tablón…has been funding all the scholarships. They didn’t check to see if the student was walking over from Muñoces. A scholarship is $100, which is paid in two installments…one before the first semester and one after they present their report cards to the Pastoral team at the beginning of the second semester. So now we have five Muñoces youngsters who are attending high school and have requested and received scholarships. We are happy to know that five students are continuing their education…the only hope of breaking out of the cycle of poverty in their community. The following is some information received from Katherine Pater, the mission co-worker, about education in El Salvador and about the scholarship program of the pastoral team. Each month we will introduce you to one of the five students from Muñoces.
Muñoces Scholarship Students
First Presbyterian Newton
Greetings, First Presbyterian!
School began here in Berlín on the 21st of January. You can tell that school is underway when you walk through the streets of the city —there are students walking to and from school, many dressed in their school uniforms, on every street. On January 10th, there was a meeting at the Pastoral House for all the students who are receiving scholarships this year. Some receive these scholarships through their partner churches—from people like you. Some scholarships come from the ‘general education’ funds we have here at the Pastoral House. That fund is supported by donations from a variety of people. At this meeting we talk about the roles and responsibilities of all of us. The student’s job is to study well and take full advantage of this financial gift and this opportunity to be in school. Now is the time to study and learn. Studying comes before watching television and playing soccer. The students are also expected to bring us a copy of their grades every few months and write a note to those who are helping them. The parent’s job is to encourage and motivate their children to study, do their homework, and apply themselves. The Pastoral House’s job – other than the obvious financial support – is to encourage, provide moral support, open our doors when the students need assistance with research or typing (we have a Spanish set of encyclopedias as well as two typewriters), and share their stories with those who are supporting their education with the hope for their continued support. You are helping them to realize their dreams, better their future, and learn the skills they need to help their community thrive… And they are grateful for your faith in them.
Meet Melvin Edgardo Mejia
Melvin is the son of Jose Gilberto Mejia and Rosa del Carmen Quintanilla who live and farm in Muñoces. He has 5 brothers and sisters and was 11 years old and in the 4th grade when we first met him and his family in 2007. He attends the Saturday intensive study school in Alegria so that he can work in the fields to help support the family during the week. His picture and solicitation follow. "Brother of the Presbyterian Church, receive a friendly greeting from your brother Melvin Edgardo Meijia Quintanilla. I hope that you are well. The reason for Presenting this letter to you is whether you could help me because I want to earn a baccalaureate because I am going to distance study on Saturdays. These are my words, thank you.
Melvin Edgardo Mejia