Seño Alma has been serving at Agua Viva for over 10 years. Her first role was a Sunday School teacher in the children’s home, and it was in this position that she discovered her passion for teaching. In the last decade she has taught in a number of grade levels at our school. Her greatest challenge to date has been working with our first graders this year. Alma’s goal is not only to improve her students’ academic performance, but to connect with them on a personal level as well. She works hard to help each child flourish.
Alma had just finished the first quarter of classes when the government mandated the shutdown of all schools for two weeks in order to halt the spread of Covid-19. When it became apparent that the closure of schools would last longer than originally anticipated, Alma was the first teacher to call our office, requesting access to students’ contact information so she could reach out to them. While WIFI is not readily available to most Guatemalans, thankfully, even the most basic cell phone plans include the WhatsApp chat service. Alma has taken advantage of this technology by creating chat groups and lessons for her students to work on at home. In recent weeks other teachers have adapted this strategy, turning their lessons into basic documents that can be downloaded onto cell phones and copied into notebooks. They also have been passing along Scripture and devotionals to encourage the parents.
While being apart from her students has been challenging, Alma is pleased to see how parents are stepping up and assisting their children with their assignments. In cases where the parents can’t read, older siblings have selflessly worked with our young students. Thanks to this effort, our first graders are improving their reading skills.
Our school is blessed to have many teachers like Alma, who see their vocations not just as a job, but as a ministry that helps students create better lives for their families. Throughout these difficult times, our teachers have gone over and above the call of duty to continue this essential task.
Agua Viva is working hard to provide salaries for our teachers and staff in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. There is still no indication when the Guatemalan government will allow schools to reopen, but we are committed to pay our teachers and to keep equipping them to work with our students in creative ways. Agua Viva loses tuition income of $4500 per month when school is not in session. Would you please consider giving a one-time donation today so we can continue to support our teachers and staff?