Update from Guatemala

Sister Joyce Kahle and Sister Terry Walter are co-directors of Casa Sofia, our residence for university students in Guatemala City.

Following the Christmas holidays, five students returned here to Casa Sofia in January:

Ana is beginning her third year of a five-year program in psychology at Mariano Gálvez University in Guatemala City.

Andrea is in her second year of medicine at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City. This year she is proud to wear a uniform as a medical student because one of her classes is at a hospital following a doctor on his rounds visiting patients.

Karla, who completed a technical degree in nursing from San Carlos, is in her last year of her licenciatura, similar to a bachelor’s degree, in nursing from Mariano Gálvez University. She continues to work as a supervisor in a public clinic.

Lena is taking classes in agronomy at the University of San Carlos. Her classes are in person this year, since the University campus finally opened again after over a year of being closed due to student and faculty protests.

Lety completed her program in chiropractic to supplement her training as a massage therapist, and she started work at CATAFI, a service center affiliated with the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security. She is now studying English every evening, Monday through Friday, and has begun a long, often eight-year process of legally migrating to the United States to join her mother and other family members.

Frania has graduated from Rafael Landívar University with a degree in theology. At the Solemn Graduation, she received an Award of Excellence from the School of Theology. At her official graduation, she graduated summa cum laude. What a celebration! She now works at the Center of Formation (formerly Holy Mary of the Most Precious Blood School), the school founded by Sister Mary Faye Hellman in San Raymundo. But she stays with us every weekend to take a break from work and prepare for a university class that she is teaching in Antigua every Saturday.

Our new students also started arriving in early January:

Angélica left a religious congregation in the Dominican Republic and had spent several years in Guatemala previously. She is from Mexico but plans to settle here in Guatemala. She asked to live with us while she gets settled with her residency here, applies for dual citizenship, looks for a teaching position and finds another place to live. She fits in well with our ministry here and now is considering the possibility of also studying for her master’s degree in education.

Brenda is from Quiché and completed her first year of social work at Landívar University in Antiqua. She also wanted to study international relations at the University of San Carlos and was accepted there. Her classes at San Carlos are during the week and at Landívar on Saturdays.

Carmen is from Baja Verapaz and is studying computer engineering at Mariano Gálvez University. She is already very skilled at fixing computer and internet problems!

Jennifer graduated from the Center of Formation in October. She is from Chiquimula and began her studies in social work at San Carlos here.

Marilia, who also graduated from our Center in October, is from Petén and is currently studying English at a branch of San Carlos. She hopes to pass the entrance exam for law school at San Carlos next year.

So, word of mouth has drawn young women from many places to our ministry in Casa Sofía. We are all blessed!

— Story by Sister Joyce Kahle

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