Sisters Joyce (Joyce Miriam) Kahle and Terry Walter have been in Guatemala for three months. Part of their mission is to collaborate with Sister Marifé Hellman in providing housing to her graduates who want to continue studying at the “free” university. A house big enough for several students was found in Guatemala City. The Sisters are in a Precious Blood parish near the seminary.
Sindy Lorena Jacinto Borja moved in with Sisters Joyce and Terry on September 28. She comes from Carrizal, a village of San Jacinto, Chiquimula. Sindy is the youngest of six children, with four sisters and a brother. Her father died a number of years ago and her mother is ill, supported by her children. Carrizal is a poor village and the young people there tend to be uninterested in studies.
Sindy’s sister Dora had a contact with another group of religious in the capitol who knew about Marifé’s school and referred them both there. So Sindy started her three years at Holy Mary of the Most Precious Blood School in 2012. She appreciated learning about different persons and different cultures from the other students and from many visitors to the school. She feels she learned how to analyze and appreciate diversity and she learned how to exercise leadership among her peers.
When she graduated she chose social work as a career and was accepted into the University of San Carlos after a long admission process. She has learned a lot about the social problems of Guatemala and how those were influenced by the armed conflict.
Sindy worked part-time for six months doing housework with a group of sisters in another part of the city. She also took a course one Sunday a month called “Healing and Wellbeing of our Mayan Sisters.”
Sindy’s message to the Sisters is “Many thanks for the opportunity you have offered me to fulfill my dream to be a social worker. It has been difficult but, with the help of Jesus, I will achieve it.”
Delma Leticia Botzoc Ical moved in with Sisters Joyce and Terry on October 18. She is 18 years old and has just finished high school at Sister Marifé’s school in San Raymundo, Guatemala. She is in the middle of her process for getting into San Carlos University.
Delma is from Sepac, a town belonging to the city of San Fernando Chahal, county of Alta Verapaz. She is the second of five children, with an older brother and three younger sisters. Her parents are simple and humble, according to her, but both are leaders in their community. Her family plants and harvests corn, beans and cardamom. She says that she has learned from her family to have hope in spite of problems, to take the good from problems and to never give up the struggle.
Delma arrived at Holy Mary of the Most Precious Blood School in San Raymundo on August 5, 2013. Through a friend of hers in her village she had contact with a Missionary of the Sacred Heart, Sister Margarita, who contacted another Sister who worked at Marifé’s school. Marifé invited her to come to the school. At the school Delma was studious and did well in her studies.
Social work is Delma’s chosen career because she wants to be able to help people in villages like the one she came from.
What Delma says to the Sisters of the Precious Blood: “You have learned how to help people we don’t know but who needs our help. Your great faith motivates you.”
Story by Sister Terry Walter
[Ed. Note: Sisters Joyce Kahle and Terry Walter moved to Guatemala in September to establish a home for women who are studying at the university.]