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Magda is 26 years old. She was born in Patzun, at Kaqchikel village located in the wooded highlands Guatemala in the heart of the ancient Mayan civilization. She tells us her story and how from this village where one of the 21 languages that exist in this country, precisely Kaqchikel, is spoken, she managed to study “Pedagogy and Human Rights” , at the University, which is about to end.
“If I have come this far, it is also thanks to those who have given their best to help me with constancy and perseverance to achieve this goal”. Parents, the “godparents” of distance support, friends and collaborators of AFN onlus But above all the “Centro educativo Fiore” that she attended and where she now collaborates to help to keep alive that reality from which she received so much.
when she was still in the first year of elementary school, sher parents did not have sufficient means to take on the onerous commitment of studying: “Many times we did not even have the money to eat”, she says explaining the difficult situation in the country. In Ciudad de Guatemala, the population has had a strong increase due to the strong emigration of Indians from the countryside and wooded areas of the plateau: over a decade, from 1980 to 1990, it went from about one million inhabitants to two and a half million. In addition, the earthquake of ’76, the war of the 80s further aggravated the situation. So because of poverty, illiteracy, alcoholism, many families are in emergency conditions and children pay the greatest consequences, often having to work from an early age to support the family economy.
To offer help twenty years ago the Focolare Movement started a school, health and nutritional support activities, building a school in the municipality of Mixco, the Fiore Educational Center. The deep relationship lived with the families and the community has generated trust and ability in the locals to improve their situation.
So Magda gets the news that will definitely change her life: “my parents told us that some people through the distance support this program and could help us financially. Since we are four brothers it was providential for us for our studies”. Thanks to this support, Magda completed her studies and obtained the title of Intercultural and Bilingual Childhood Teacherbut the challenges and goals achieved by Magda are not over: “After this path, I dreamed of being able to continue the University”. The girl looked for a job, but it’s not easy: “I didn’t let myself win!”, she says finding a place in an ice cream parlor, but the amount she sets aside from time to time is never enough.“I prayed that I could find a job that could help me study,” she says. She works as an importer of broccoli, a hard, very heavy job, for a salary corresponding to the amount of broccoli collected. Finally four years ago she began working as a teacher in a school. The salary is limited, but “I liked the job and I did it for the love of the little ones. she stays a year in that school. So she finally enrolled at the University, continuing to work to support her studies: in 2014 she became a promoter, “a tiring but beautiful adventure, which made me know many places in our beautiful country!” In 2015 she lived another important experience for her formation at the School of Verano in the Lìa citadel in Argentina of the Focolare Movement where she remained for a year, “a truly wonderful experience. Chiara Lubich left us a fascinating Ideal and I am experiencing it day after day, the challenge is to be a Living Gospel”.
This year Magda started the last year of university: “there are obstacles, but wanting is power and with God’s help, His guidance and His help, I am succeeding! I have another dream that I put in his hands and it is to be able to do a master’s degree at the Intercultural University “Sophia” ofLoppiano (FI)”. It collaborates with the Fiore Educational Center which this year welcomes 271 children and adolescents, accompanying them on a path of growth enhanced by many training opportunities, specific for children and adolescents, thanks to distance support. A reality of solidarity, brotherhood, the family lived so that the children could give the best of themselves and be prepared for the future. At the end of the cycle of studies, with infinite gratitude, we thank you for having given them the opportunity to achieve their dream. So also Magda, who after telling us her story, tells us: “I feel obliged to thank the Project and my supporters who for all these years with constancy and perseverance have helped me. If I have come this far, it is thanks to those who have made their contribution. Matyox! Thank you very much! And may God bless you all!”