A brighter future is something Carolina doesn’t take for granted.

As a young Q’eqchí female, the odds are stacked against her. Like many Indigenous Guatemalans, she lives in poverty in a remote rural village. She’s the oldest of a bunch of brothers and sisters. Her parents are barely scraping by, but they desperately desire a brighter future for their children.

Will you help build into Carolina’s brighter future? This Christmas you can double your impact – every dollar you give to Build a Brighter Future will be matched!

When she was little, Carolina’s parents sent her to the local rural elementary school. But there is no junior high anywhere near her village. So, in January, Carolina and her next-oldest brother started attending Vida Chijacorral.

It’s a long way! Carolina and her brother would walk for two hours just to get to the nearest bus stop that would take them to school. Her father, worried about the lonely, dangerous road, often joined his children before heading to his work as a day labourer in the nearby fields.

Carolina hadn’t missed a single day of Grade 8 – even the rainy season couldn’t dampen her love of learning and her desire to be at school with her classmates. Each day, she had pulled on her worn rubber boots and splashed along the muddy paths alongside her father and brother, knowing that at school she would have the opportunity to learn and grow.

But then came Covid. Two months into the year, schools were shut down, churches were shut down, public transportation was shut down, the economy was shut down. Carolina’s father was left without work, another unemployment statistic amidst the global pandemic.

As teachers around the world scrambled to connect with their students from a distance, Carolina wasn’t sure what this would mean regarding her chance for an education. After all, she lived in a place beyond electricity, beyond telephone lines, beyond the internet – even beyond a mobile signal.

But Carolina’s teachers hadn’t forgotten her. They made the long trek to her remote village. Some of them had never walked that far in one stretch before! They encouraged Carolina and her brothers and they prayed with them. And the teachers came bearing food hampers, study guides, and school supplies. Carolina could continue studying from home!

Carolina has put an amazing amount of effort into the assignments that her teachers brought her. She completes each activity diligently and enthusiastically. And she’s thrilled that she can continue her studies – her key to a brighter future – despite the distance and her family’s lack of resources.

Carolina is eager to return to school and rejoin her teachers and classmates. She hopes that school will be in session again in January. And so do we. But we know that even if schools remain shuttered, the work of building a brighter future for children in Guatemala won’t stop. Will you help us build a brighter future for Carolina, for her younger siblings, and for so many girls and boys like her?

Your gifts will be used to construct a water well and a Covid-friendly outdoor structure at Carolina’s school, in case schools are allowed to open with distancing restrictions – and to develop distance education resources in case they’re not. And your gifts will be matched dollar for dollar (up to $65,000!) until the end of the year.

Will you give to Build a Brighter Future today? Because girls like Carolina need you to keep their dream of a brighter future alive even in the midst of a pandemic!

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