Nicolás Fund for Education posthumously honored Barney Reynolds with the 2016 Pioneer Award in gratitude for his vision, inspiration, planning and hard work. Barney Reynolds’ daughter-in-law, Heidi Reynolds, and her daughter, Erin, traveled from California to attend the event and receive this award on behalf of the Reynolds family. Both Heidi and Erin, and Barney’s son, Mike, were part of the NFE February 2015 and 2016 teams and have seen first-hand the fruits of their father’s labor.
Paul Selvig, February 2016 team member, and his son Josiah shared about their experience as team members. Paul, a multi-trip veteran, described how rewarding it was to introduce his son to his friends in the Ixil that he has made over many years. He strongly encouraged families to consider taking a trip together.
NFE Board member, Kathy Riper, provided a status update on developments at Nicolás Christian School, aided by two videos that featured our new computer and science laboratories. Professor Braulio Mateo Bach Cabrera gave an excellent introduction of all the changes the school has experienced since opening in January 2016. On behalf of the parents of NCS students and NCS staff, Prof. Braulio expressed gratitude to the donors who have made all of this happen!
Petronila Elizabeth Ramos, our keynote speaker, left theFulfilling A Dream Desert Event audience spellbound, many in tears, as she shared her life-journey from a fatherless girl in the jungles of Guatemala to a University Graduate and teacher. Petronila related how her father’s abandonment of her as a child has reverberated pain throughout her life. She recounted losing her brother to the Guatemalan 36-year civil war and her fear of losing her mother, her only parent. She described her family’s poverty, and how they came to be included in the Agros village of La Esperanza. Petronila explained how a near-fatal knife attack perpetrated by two village members on her mother and her devastated their family and continues to haunt Petronila. Despite these significant challenges, Petronila has survived and gone on to academic excellence with NFE’s help. We will soon be sharing more of Petronila’s courageous story on our blog.
Thanks to all who attended our 2016 Fulfilling a Dream Dessert Event! It was a wonderful night that we won’t soon forget! There was a palpable feeling of love and good will in the room between people who share a mutual interest and affection for our friends in the Ixil. We are especially grateful for all who donated so generously to the Nicolas Fund for Education at our event. Thank You. We are still counting the contributions that are coming in, but we can report we have received a generous increase over last year’s event totaling over $130,000. This is about 65% of the ongoing expense of running our program. Thank you on behalf of the 68 students who are in our program or have graduated.