NFE Begins Planning for New, Larger School

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NFE Begins Planning for New, Larger School Nicolas Fund for Education currently has a lease on a property owned by a church in Nebaj.  This has made a terrific starter home for Nicolas Christian School. Based on current enrollment projections, however, we will exceed capacity for that leased building in a couple of years. NFE has heard from school parents that they wish our school was closer to their home villages based near Cotzal, rather than in Nebaj. [spacer height=”20px”]NFE Board members on the July 2017 Impact Team will continue the process of looking at available property in or around Cotzal. Based on earlier investigations, there has not been property large enough in Cotzal that we could lease for the school. We also need adjacent property space for sport fields. This has led us to believe that we will likely have to build. [spacer height=”20px”]NFE will seek grants and individual donations to help fund the new school when our plans are finalized. Please pray for us during this process of investigation and planning, and that donations to build the facility will become available when the plans are finalized. We endeavor to be good stewards of every dollar donated!  

NICOLÁS CHRISTIAN SCHOOL WORSHIP BAND FORMED

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[spacer height=”20px”]Thanks to several generous donations from Nicolás Fund for Education supporters, the newly formed Nicolás Christian School Worship Band now has instruments, guitar amps, and a choir!  This is a very exciting development that has been on the hearts of Nicolás Christian School students for some time. Devotions are held each day after lunch, and students participate in leading these devotions. Members of our July NFE Impact Team trip will have the first opportunity to hear the worship band as we worship with students and staff.  The July team will be in Guatemala July 21-31.

SOCCER TEAM AT VH1!

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[spacer height=”20px”]Students and families of VH1 raised their own funds to purchase soccer uniforms for their newly formed soccer team. Juan Samuel, the teacher at the VH1 school, is coaching the soccer team. The village has now started construction of their very own soccer field! The addition of a sports field will undoubtedly be an exciting addition for the students at VH1!

Fulfilling a Dream 2017: A Success Story

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Nicolás Fund for Education is grateful for the generous donations made in response to our 2017 Fulfilling a Dream (FaD) fundraiser! [spacer height=”20px”]Thanks to our supporters, we were able to raise $136,000 that evening to help fund our 2018 academic year! Without your help, many of our NFE students would not have been able to pursue education after the sixth grade. In her talk, Ana Córdova, FaD’s keynote speaker and an NFE graduate, described her years of hard work; perseverance in her pursuit of her educational dreams; and her loyalty to her family. Ana Córdova’s gratitude for her education – a blessing only possible through NFE supporters – delivered a compelling case for the mission of NFE, and we were personally touched by her message. NFE still has work to do to obtain an additional $50K to fully fund the 2018 academic year, but we feel confident that with God’s help and provision we will reach our final goal by December 31.

How Your Donations Are Spent

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[spacer height=”20px”]Nicolás Fund for Education is a very lean organization. NFE spends only 6% of our income on fund-raising, and Charity Navigator’s rankings indicate that organizations that spend 10% or less on fund-raising earn their top score for their fund-raising percentage metric.  NFE has no paid USA employees. NFE does contract with grant writers and a virtual assistant who helps our Board organize meetings and communication. In Guatemala, NFE employs a Country Director, Ivan España, to administer our program.  NFE’s Guatemalan employees include our school Principal, Braulio, eight teachers for Nicolás Christian School, two teachers for the remote village of Villa Hortencia 1, a cook, and a security guard. We have contracts with three part-time school bus drivers. Through these employees, NFE now serves over 100 students from six villages in the Ixil region. Almost your entire donation goes directly to student programs and services.  [spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”] [spacer height=”20px”]To explain our pie chart, the following may be helpful: Teachers and School Staff (32%): Employee salaries, payroll expenses and contracted staff. In Country Management (19%): Ivan España’s contract and related expenses as Country Director for NFE. School Equipment and Supplies (18%): AV equipment, computers, classroom supplies, PE and art supplies, materials for student construction of new desks and chairs for school and building maintenance costs. Transportation (12%): We have contracts with 3 part-time drivers who use their own microbuses to transport students from villages to school and back. Tutoring and Other Village Costs (8%): Remote schools administered by Nicolás Christian School in Villa Hortencia 1 and San Nicolás, and village tutoring of 5th and 6th graders expanded in 2017 to five villages. Fundraising (6%): Transportation for Fulfilling a Dream fundraiser …

Innovative Nicolás Fund for Education Partnership with Seattle Pacific University

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[spacer height=”20px”]Nicolás Fund for Education is partnering with Seattle Pacific University this summer in their inventive SPRINT program. SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reach-out International) provides a variety of international immersion trips for their students designed to help participants engage in issues around community development, justice and reconciliation. Participants have an opportunity to live outside their usual comfort zones and are paired with international specialists devoted to working in their communities. The SPRINT program is facilitated by student leaders under the mentorship of John Perkins Center staff, who serve as advisors for those student leaders. The objectives of the SPRINT experience are to: Explore cross-cultural impact; what is the role for Western Christians in faith-driven global engagements? Examine and apply diverse perspectives to complex subjects. Study the history and culture of the host country. Discover Christian faith-driven leadership and community development practices. Learn principles of Christian Community Development as a framework for justice and community development. Critiques the history of Western Christian missions and factors contributing to effective, meaningful short-term mission programs. Nicolás Fund for Education and Nicolás Christian School will be hosting a team of four SPU SPRINT students beginning August 1, 2017 and students will be staying in the Ixil region for four weeks. They will be staying in both Nebaj and in the village of La Esperanza.  The SPU SPRINT team will have their orientation in Antigua.  The team will stop for a visit to Chichicastenango on their way up to Nebaj. During their stay, the SPRINT team will stay at a hotel in Nebaj so that they are close to Nicolás Christian School during the week.  The team’s main task, while they are in Nebaj, will be facilitating …

Miracles Do Happen!

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[spacer height=”20px”]Enduring Relationships Develop Between Team Members & Villagers Our teams have traveled to La Esperanza for more than a dozen years, and in that time enduring relationships of love and trust have been made between team members and villagers. One such relationship emerged between an anonymous team member and Juana, a widow in the village. Juana is the adopted mother of Bernabé. Juana has been doing her best to raise Bernabé as a single mom. On each of the anonymous donor’s trips to the Ixil, he would make a point to seek out Juana to give a special word of encouragement. Bernabé’s Life Seemed Destined for Trouble In the past few years, Bernabé’s life seemed destined for trouble and this has been a source of great pain for Juana. She prayed for a solution. Bernabé was frequently truant from school and eventually dropped out altogether, had fallen in with a “bad crowd” and was both disrespectful and physically and emotionally abusive to Juana.Bernabé had been in 4th grade for 3 years prior to dropping out. Fincas are Fertile Ground for Gang Recruitment Bernabé was traveling to the fincas (plantation farms) to work for periods as long as five months, and fincas are fertile ground for gang recruitment. On Bernabé’s last trip to the fincas, he returned with no money and no explanation. This came at a particularly difficult time for Juana, as she has developed a severe eye condition that causes pain when she is exposed to bright sunlight. This eye condition was making it impossible for Juana to plant or harvest crops. NFE Recognized This Problem and Devised a Plan Our Nicolás Fund for Education National Director, Ivan España, recognized this problem and devised a plan. Nicolás Fund for Education began providing an NFE personal tutor for Bernabé to help him catch up with the school that …

Superado: To Overcome

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[spacer height=”20px”]The families that Nicolás Fund for Education serves all have one Spanish word in common: superado. This word means that they have overcome or improved their condition in life. It is easy to forget that their lives were in peril only a few decades ago. From 1960 to 1996, the Ixil people were targeted for genocide by the Guatemalan Army.  Leftist guerillas fighting the Guatemalan Army also targeted the Ixil for supposedly siding with the enemy. The Ixil were caught in between and suffered mightily. Those of you who have traveled to the Ixil with an Impact Team have probably noticed that there are almost no old men to be seen, as most of them were killed during the war years. How and why did this happen? According to the Holocaust Museum Houston, Guatemala, “…was once at the heart of the remarkable Mayan civilization, which flourished until the 10th century AD. When Spanish explorers conquered this region in the 16th century, the Mayans became slaves in their own homeland. They are still the underprivileged majority of Guatemala’s population. Civil war existed in Guatemala since the early 1960s due to inequalities existing in the economic and political life. In the 1970s, the Maya began participating in protests against the repressive government, demanding greater equality and inclusion of the Mayan language and culture. In 1980, the Guatemalan army instituted “Operation Sophia” which aimed at ending insurgent guerrilla warfare by destroying the civilian base in which they hid. This program specifically targeted the Mayan population who were believed to be supporting the guerilla movement. Over the next three years, the army destroyed 626 villages, killed or “disappeared” more than 200,000 people and displaced …

Fulfilling A Dream 2017: An Event Not To Be Missed!

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[spacer height=”20px”]Please come and join us for our Nicolás Fund for Education Fulfilling a Dream dessert event on May 6th at 7:00 pm! Our event will be held at Evergreen Covenant Church, 3200 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040 in the Sanctuary. [spacer height=”20px”]This year, Nicolás Christian School graduate, Ana Córdova Cedillo, will be our featured speaker. Ana Córdova’s story is one of perseverance and hard work, devotion to helping her family and exceptional achievement. In addition to being named the #1 pea farmer in the Ixil region, Ana Córdova was top of her 2017 class and had the best grades in the entire school at Nicolás Christian School. Ana Córdova is now attending the University of San Carlos in their weekend school program. Ana Córdova is from Casa 14 in La Bendición and her proud parents are Catarina Cedillo López and Juan Córdova de la Cruz. She has 4 sisters: Mat (married adult), Magdalena, Juanita (2017 NCS graduate now pursuing art studies) and Natividad (7th grader at NCS). Presentations at the event will bring you up to speed on the phenomenal progress achieved with your donations. Did you know that NFE is now serving more than 100 students in 2017! One of the delightful features of our Fulfilling a Dream event is that all our desserts are homemade and donated by a fantastic team of NFE supporters. Would you like to join their number and contribute some delicious baked goods? Contact Becci Merritt below to sign up! This event has also become an excellent opportunity to reconnect with NFE and JWAV supporters across the years. Catch up with friends from past Impact Teams! We are a community of love …

NFE Partners With San Nicolás

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San Nicolás Students from left to right, Nicolás Jacab, Jesus Eliseo and Francisco Ezequiel [spacer height=”20px”]Nicolás Fund for Education is delighted to announce that an anonymous sponsor has been found for three 7th grade students from the village of San Nicolás to attend Nicolás Christian School this year!  In the photo, the San Nicolás students are meeting with Professor Braulio Bach from Nicolás Christian School to discuss the plans.  These are the first students from San Nicolás to attend our school. NFE is now serving six villages in the region: La Bendición, La Esperanza, Villa Hortencia Uno, Belén, Los Angeles and San Nicolás. NFE Tutoring is taking place in La Esperanza (Ana Otilia is the tutor there), La Bendición (Antonio Eber is the tutor), Belén (Domingo Marvín is the tutor), VH1 (Pedro Davíd is the tutor) and in San Nicolás (Petronila Tabita is the tutor). If our school and all our programs are combined, NFE serves over 100 students now! In the photo, the San Nicolás students are meeting with Professor Braulio Bach from Nicolás Christian School to discuss the plans. These are the first students from San Nicolás to attend our school. NFE is now serving six villages in the region: La Bendición, La Esperanza, Villa Hortencia Uno, Belén, Los Angeles and San Nicolás. NFE Tutoring is taking place in La Esperanza (Ana Otilia is the tutor there), La Bendición (Antonio Eber is the tutor), Belén (Domingo Marvín is the tutor), VH1 (Pedro Davíd is the tutor) and in San Nicolás (Petronila Tabita is the tutor). If our school and all our programs are combined, NFE serves over 100 students now! NFE is now serving six villages in the …