December 2, 2014

Rosa Graduates High School!

Four years ago we walked into Rosa Coj Bocel’s house for the first time.  It was our first time to Guatemala, and our first introduction to both the warmth and the grinding poverty in the community of Peña Blanca. Without enough money for food, Rosa was forced to leave school in the 6th grade to support her family. She spent her teenage years laboring in the fields before risking her life in search of better work, by traveling to Guatemala City’s most dangerous area, Zone 18. All the while she was forced to keep her dream of becoming a nurse on hold.

This past Sunday, at age 26, she took the stage in front of a thousand people to receive her High School diploma with a focus in medicine. She has been putting herself back through school on the weekends, working and selling hand made weavings to support herself, and even managing to volunteer twice a week at a local medical clinic.

Rosa in Cap and Gown

Rosa in Cap and Gown!

Friends and Family Gathered to Celebrate the Big Day!

Friends and Family Gathered to Celebrate the Big Day!

Rosa and her Classmates

Rosa and Her Classmates

Rosa's Parents

Rosa and Her Parents Enjoying the Moment

Her mother and father and three of her brothers watched from the crowd, as Rosa became the first in their family to achieve this milestone. We were humbled to be invited to share in the moment and to continue our unique friendship with Rosa. She has never stopped dreaming and has fought against the odds of her circumstances to achieve something anyone should be proud of. Amidst the celebrations of our dinner together that night, Rosa reminded us with a smile that this is the first step – she’s already started applying to nursing school.

Thanks to donations from many of you and revenue from the sales of the film, we have been able to put together a scholarship fund for Rosa. Your support has opened so many doors and Rosa has proven she’s ready to walk through them. If you’d consider helping us, we’re looking to raise $5,000 more to ensure she can complete her four-year nursing degree. You can donate right away by writing “Rosa – Living on One” in the Notes box here: https://mayanfamilies.org/donate/index/general or by emailing Chris@livingonone.org.

This has been a beautiful journey together and we look forward to continuing with you on it.

Rosa Volunteering at the Local Medical Clinic

Rosa Volunteering at the Local Medical Clinic in Monte Mercedes

Chris and Rosa with Handwritten notes from students at Parkway South High School

Chris and Rosa with Handwritten Notes from Students at Parkway South High School