Alicia Lucasi joined us in the US for our annual board retreat in October, leaving behind her husband of less than two months to do so. (Thanks for being so understanding, Rene!) Minga Claggett-Borne asked Alicia what difference BQEF had made in her life, and the lives of others, and this was her response:
Juana Ruperta Carani will graduate from high school this December with an excellent academic record.
She came to the BQEF Student Residence (aka Internado) in Sorata in 2009 as a timid 7th grader. The school in her home community of Chuchulaya only goes through 6th grade, and Juana wanted to be the first in her family to go to high school. Her stepfather, Luis, had applied for Juana to join the Student Residence so she could start 7th grade.
On the day we were to post the list of those accepted, he was anxious to confirm that Juana was included, so he and another parent from Chuchulaya left home at 2:00 am to walk and run in the rain to arrive by 8:00 am. Happily, both their daughters were on the list.
Steeped in the rich heritage of the Aymara language and culture, Emma Quispe Mamani graduated from the Public University of El Alto in linguistics and languages.
Primitiva Castaya Quispe felt honored and gratified to co-present garments made by her Aymara textiles class to President Evo Morales during his visit to her school.
Primitiva is studying textile engineering at the “Tupak Katari Indigenous Amyara Bolivian University”, where she’s learning to produce textiles with traditional Aymara cultural symbols, using both traditional and contemporary technology.
Her class was chosen to design textiles for the president, and Primitiva and a classmate presented them in person. “It was a great honor and I was very happy to have this opportunity. The President encouraged us and thanked us for the gift we made him.”
Primitiva’s studies link traditional Aymara arts to international organizations that can spread appreciation for their beauty as well as provide markets.
Congratulations to Martha Silva Canaviri on her graduation from the University of San Andres with a degree in Geotechnical Engineering. We're especially gratified when female students are empowered to enter traditionally male fields, particularly in a machismo culture.
(Martha and a classmate analyze materials from a field trip, above.)
Martha’s coursework included environmental impact studies. In one course, she learned to recognize different layers of clay and sandy soil by color and structure.
She learned to analyze the soil and water, and to study the distinct types of vegetation and animals in an area. The course included field work and classroom study.
Martha also participated in a case study of the impact of a supermarket in Achacachi, looking at both the positive and negative effects.
Congratulations to Sonia Carolina Llanque Quispe on graduating as a nursing assistant. Sonia graduated from the INFOCAL Technical Institute thanks in part to donors who supported her BQEF scholarship.
Sonia’s studies included practicums in various wards in the hospital. In the Emergency Room she learned to give blood transfusions. In her community health course, she researched and made a presentation to her class about care of pregnant women in the home.
She learned to provide both physical and emotional care for patients who could not move themselves in the trauma ward, and assisted in surgery for a broken nose in the ear, nose, and throat clinic.
Sonia is particularly concerned about children’s health and took part in a vaccination campaign. It was a very good experience for her training and a successful campaign.
President Evo Morales awarded Lourdes Quenta Perca the title of Textile Engineer on August 2, 2014. She was among the first professional graduates of the Indigenous Universities of Bolivia (UNIBOL).
Imagine trying to struggle through law school without your own set of textbooks! Now imagine the joy and relief in finding out that you don't have to, thanks to a generous Friend who believes in education.
As you may already know, Newton Garver died peacefully at home on Saturday, February 8 with his wife Anneliese present. While we regret the end of his life with us, we give thanks for the inspiration and example that Newton provided.
Bolivian Friends will hold a meeting for remembrance in celebration of the life and ministry of Newton, at Friends Church on Max Paredes tomorrow, March 8, at 10:00 am La Paz time (9 am EST).
BQE-Bolivia alumni, students, and parents, along with other Bolivian Friends who have known and worked with Newton, will be in attendance. They will meet until noon and then share an Apthapi lunch – an Aymara-style potluck.*
Bernabé Yujra, who together with “Brother Newton” began the work that grew into BQEF, writes: “We hope you will join us in spirit with your prayers this day.”
A Memorial Meeting will be held at the Orchard Park Meetinghouse, 6924 E. Quaker Street St., Orchard Park, NY, on May 3 at 11 A.M. Friends who cannot make that gathering are again invited to be present in thought and prayer.
Ninety five percent of the 30,000 Quakers in Bolivia are Aymara. Aymara Indians have inhabited the Altiplano from Peru down to Chile long before the Incas invaded to control the Andean commerce. The ruins at Tiwanaku (60 k from LaPaz) reveal a thriving highly developed culture which rivals the art, irrigation, and architecture of ancient Egypt. The Aymaras may have arrived in the Andes as early as 1400 BC and the Incas arrived in the Altiplano about 1440.