Rebeca Tintaya, Alicia, Rubén, and some of the other ex-becarios are working together to sponsor a scholarship student. They tell us there is a real sense of the value of the becas (scholarships), and that people are very, very happy to have had that opportunity to transform lives - their own, their families, and others.
Alicia and Rubén are also working on a virtual Aymara community, which can be found at http://www.jaqi-aru.org/. Jaqi-aru means “voice of the people” in Aymara, and was the native language before Aymara and Quechua, similar to Latin as a predecessor to Spanish.
The goal of this project is to spread the Aymara language more widely. The project is affiliated with GlobalVoices.org. There are over 40 articles translated into Aymara at the Global Voices website: http://aym.globalvoicesonline.org/
Some of those active in the project attended Evo’s inaugauration at Tiwanaku in January, and posted a write-up afterwards at the Global Voices website. They’ve also translated an article on the melting of the glaciers in Bolivia.
UPDATE: Ruben writes that they separated the seedlings out into the bags with the help of people in the village, and have given away about 2,000 seedlings. They need to see how the newly-transplanted seedlings will fare over winter. There are also some seeds left over, for additional starts next year.
Esther Tinco Mamani, whom you may know from her video, has been visiting the Internado in Sorata, working with the students on planting vegetables and tending the expanded organic garden.
Some of the "internos" have since expressed an interest in learning about farm management. Esther has also been talking with those who are about to graduate, encouraging them to prepare for and apply to university.
Deysi is the first female, and the first Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) facilitator, to hold such position in a Bolivian Quaker School. Some of you may recognize Deysi as a member of the BQE-Bo Scholarship Committee, as well as an AVP committee member. Deysi also serves on the BQE-Bo General Education Committee. Congratulations, Deysi, and thanks for all the good work!
Notes from a Skype call with Alicia and Rubén, 11-12-09
RH: These kinds of activities (Quaker Education Workshops) were really important for people who are involved w/the English pgm for the Quaker schools, and for friends and colleagues who share our concern for using Quaker values, for teaching in the schools using Quaker methods. Our internships in the US will help with this work.
We have a new first day school lesson available for 4th grade and up. The complete lesson includes stories (see Lesson Plan), a slide show, videos, and a booklet. Please forward the links or download and print the materials to share with your First Day School committee. We hope you enjoy this new opportunity for getting to know Bolivian Friends better, and we welcome your feedback on the materials and how they might have led students and others to find ways to connect with Friends in Bolivia.
Watch as Esther Tinco Mamani talks about pursuing her degree in agronomical engineering - a profession she was told she should avoid because it was a "man's job." She says the BQEF scholarship was "like God poured a bucketful of blessings on her." The interview was recorded on February 28, 2009, at Colegio Los Amigos in La Paz. Esther's witness is a vibrant example of what a difference your support is making!
When an FWCC veteran heard that a young Bolivian Friend was visiting the 2009 sessions of New England Yearly Meeting, her first reaction was to regret that NEYM did not have translators in place. But Rubén Hilare did not need translators, neither for conversations nor for his presentation at an interest group. All went smoothly in English, and 16 Friends came to learn more about Bolivia on an evening when there were a dozen simultaneous interest groups.