Nuestras Notas: Flor

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Flor de María Quiejú Tziná is one of three scholarship students receiving university-level education. She has a bent for creativity, and she gives back by helping younger students explore their own creativity at a local school. Today, she tells us what it was like ending her teaching practicum.


This month, I had the opportunity to share in a new experience and meet new people. I had my teaching practice, and thankfully everything went well for me. The professors welcomed me and offered their friendship. My teacher, Marta Francisca Damián, in particular helped me throughout the process because she was an alumna of Socorro, like myself.

When I finished my teaching practice, I said farewell to the students and teachers. It was a day full of happiness and sadness–happiness because I ended with success, and sadness because I didn’t want to leave my students. They didn’t want me to leave either, and some said, “Miss, take a photo with us to remember.”

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The next day, I and the other students in teaching practices went to the Institute to submit our final reports. We were there for two days, sharing experiences with our friends. Some of us talked about difficult students who did not want to do crafts or to help prepare meals. One girl had a story that I didn’t like, and it stuck with me and my friends most. She told us that she not only didn’t receive her supervisor’s support, but her supervisor had not signed off on her lesson plans or filled out her final evaluation. My friend had to talk with the director, and eventually the secretary signed all of her papers.

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Everybody who had shared their experiences finally reached one conclusion: “Being a teacher involves a lot of responsibility, respect, kindness, creativity, the ability to handle a group, and a willingness to learn.”

The Reading Club

Finding the motivation to study and read can be challenging in the best of environments. For students in Santiago Atitlan, where illiteracy is prevalent and school is often prohibited by cost, education can seem impossible. Fortunately, Puerta Abierta has a special program where young adults motivate each other to keep on reading.


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The Reading Club is a program of Puerta Abierta, devoted to young adults in Santiago Atitlan and the surrounding towns.

Our objective is to get the youth of Santiago Atitlan excited about reading by providing an environment where they can feel safe to come together and to explore books. They meet new people, develop critical thinking skills, and share experiences.

We read a new book every 15 days and then get together to discuss and analyze it. As a group, we share our thoughts and connect the book with our lives.

At each meeting, we have different creative activities that help us develop critical thinking skills. In this photo, two of the club members are drawing how they imagined the characters in the book, “La Sombra del Viento” (“The Shadow of the Wind”).

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Below is a message from the members of the Reading Club:

“We are a group of young adults who love reading because we know that it is the doorway through which we can explore the world. Reading is the strongest weapon we have to develop ourselves, our communities, and the entire world.

“Books are written to be read–read by us. We want to keep reading; we want to keep growing; and we know how to do it. More than just a group, the Reading Club is a place where we can feel good and free to disclose our thoughts.

“We want to thank all the people who have provided us with books and Kindles. They have given us the opportunity to travel into, experience, and share in a new world. Thank you!”

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To see the Reading Club’s statement in its original Spanish, visit the Puerta Abierta blog.