Maria and the Kindergarden in Las Mangas

by Mandy Olive
In the village of Las Mangas there is a small kindergarten class of twelve children taught by an amazing  and talented woman named Maria.  In a village with very little resources, there had previously been no kindergarten class, but in 2008 the community offered Maria a wage of $50 per month to make this happen.  She accepted, and worked diligently with local volunteers to set up an environment that would be full of fun and learning for the children.  The community, however, never paid her the promised wages.  Despite this fact, because of her love of the children and her passion for their education, she continues to teach them.
Maria has also decided to go back to the University to finish her studies so that she will have a a technical degree in Education.  Because of this choice, however, she was faced with a dilemma; if she chose to go back to school, she would need to find a job that pays her so that she can afford the cost of commuting to the city and paying for her schooling.  When she brought this concern to Silvia, they found a solution.  A group of Canadian nurses with the organization Alifera Globetrotter decided during their annual trip to Honduras, that they would fund Maria’s education until she graduates in July.  This will allow her to continue teaching the kindergarten class for the children in Las Mangas while also covering the costs to receive her technical degree.  Their generous donations didn’t stop there, however.  They also brought toys and supplies for the children of the school.
Now, the question remains as to whether or not Maria will be able to continue her education further so that she can receive her teaching degree.  As a woman who has dedicated herself to her community, this is certainly a realistic and honorable goal.  For this to happen, however, she would be required to finish two more years of University education.  While supporting this endeavor would only require $50 per month, it is often difficult to finance such things here in Honduras.  We are hoping to connect Maria to the resources needed in order to continue her work and improve the lives of those around her.

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