March 2018 Updates

1. It has been a year since the library project was completed. Students are using this resource during their school day and have free reading time at the center. The center is devoted to developing personal character and a love of learning. They are using the library to help achieve those aims. Free reading isn’t a cultural norm, partly due to the lack of access, so this will continue to be a focus area for our work. We continually get photos of students using the library and are honored to be a part of their personal and educational journey!

2. Palms and Souls partnered with All Saints Catholic School in Antigo for the 2nd year in a row. Ryan and Reidun had the privilege of speaking in front of all 4K-8th grade students about the successful library build, future scholarship opportunities for students, and overall educational issues in Guatemala. The students were a great audience. Then the students and staff took over and raised 450 dollars during Catholic Schools Week events! We couldn’t be more thankful for all the staff, student, and parent participation.

3. We are continuing to work on potential scholarship opportunities for students who are excelling academically. There are a lot of details still being worked out and some procedural roadblocks. For example, we are exploring the most reliable and efficient ways to pay each individual school in a timely and secure manner. The board is working diligently together and with the directors of the community center to work through possible issues before we roll out a comprehensive campaign. We are hoping to present you with a plan soon. Please pray for our team here and in Guatemala. We are confident that God is the leader of this plan, so we are excited to see the work he does through these amazing students.

4. Students at El Buen Samaritano have started school! Their school year begins in January. The supplies we provided last year have been enough to sustain them throughout this year as well! We look forward to hearing about all their academic growth in their new private school.