GringoGrands...making a difference one child at a time
Since moving to Belize, I have learned that much of what we "Gringos" take for granted for our children and our grandchildren is not available to many of the children here in Belize. Education is valued and prized in Belize, but many cannot afford the approximate average tuition cost of $40 ($20 US) a year to register one child for primary school. There are also the added costs for books, uniforms, school supplies, activities and other fees charged by the schools throughout the year - as the need arises - as well as for food, as there are many children, who live too far to travel home for daily lunches. High school can cost close to $1,000 ($500 US) a year with an added transportation cost for the many who live in remote areas. 

The Gringo Grands Project was inspired by what we witnessed with Carlos, after I somehow became his Gringo Granny, and then with Roxana, after Gringo Granny Lena of New Jersey said she wanted to help educate a child too. Rocio, who is an excellent student would not have graduated high school this year were it not for Gringo Granny Judy of Connecticut. 

Think of it: For what it costs to buy a few cups of coffee a month these days, a child can be educated. If you think it is a good idea to educate the children and you can somehow find $20 or more (or less for pre-school) each month to invest in their future, there are many others on our list awaiting help. After reading Carlos', Roxana's, and Rocio's stories below, see the photos, and needs messages for the many children who need help in order to go to school. 
 
Preschool Primary School   High School College Vocational
Andrea
Jennifer

Melanie

Eduardo
 

Alicia  (has found a gringo grand)
Alma
Amilcar
(has found a gringo grand)
Amir
Anderson

Arvin
Avimael

Badir
Carlos(has found a gringo grand)

Ciomara

Dominga(has found a gringo grand)

Edwin
Elsa

Emerson
Gloria
Guillermo
Habib
Hannah
Hectar

Herson

Iris

Isiah
  (has found a gringo grand)
Israel
(has found a gringo grand)
Jason
Jason Shack

Jenesia


Jermin
Jessy

Jose
Josiah

Juan
Katherine
Marianne
Mario
Marlon

Marvin
Minor Coc

Nancy
Natalia
(has found a gringo grand)
Nelisha
Noami
Nuria
Patricia
Pricsilla
Raquel

Rosa Inez
Shanda

Vilma
Wilmer

Anna (has found a gringo grand)
Apolonia
Berta (has found a gringo grand)
Carlos
Dorita

Elvin
Josephine
Florina
Lester
Marcela (has found a gringo grand)
Olga
Robert
Rocio
(has found a gringo grand)

Rolando
Sandra
Basilia
Denny
Marciano
Yoselin
Sherman
If you are interested in helping one of these children, email us and we will facilitate. 
(nirakenna at yahoo.com)


Carlos (12) Self Portrait
Roxana singing a solo in church on the occasion 
of her first birthday celebration. 
She was 11 on July 5th, 2012
Carlo's mother died of leukemia 4 years ago  leaving behind 12 children, the youngest, only 2. He lives now with most of his brothers and sisters and his father in a two room wooden house on top of a steep hill where water must be carried every day for washing and cooking -- tasks shared by his 2 older sisters. Carlos helps to care for his 3 younger sisters, loves to play football (soccer), volleyball, and is great with a hammer and nails. When we met Carlos, he was staying with his aunt and uncle, our closest neighbor, about a mile away. Shortly after his mother's death, several of the children were taken care of by relatives. He was 10 then, spoke no English and had never been to school. His aunt and uncle lived 3 miles from the nearest school, and although he attended sporadically, he was pretty much lost given the fact that he did not speak the language and did not even know his ABC's. When he announced one day that he wanted to go home because he missed his father and siblings, the school where his family lived could not accept him until the next term (6 weeks away), so he agreed to stay with us and learn English. He did attend classes during that 6 weeks and with the help of a caring teacher, he began to feel that he belonged in school. He now attends school in his village every day, and is getting tutored by a cousin who is helping him with his reading skills. He plays futball most every day after his tutoring lesson and takes a bus on many weekends to visit his Gringo Grands. Although sending a child to school here cost only about $20US for tuition, there are uniforms, books, backpacks and school supplies that are needed. Most children go home for lunches, but some cannot as home is too far away from school. Such was the case for Roxana who lived with her father in a small thatched hut in the bush where he grew watermelons on borrowed land. She was 9 when she came to visit us with our neighbor. She was very excited because she was going to be attending school at the start of the new school year. She also spoke no English and had never been to school, so we worked with her over the next few weeks to help her with her English. Upon my return from a summer visit in the US, I asked her if she was getting ready for her new school. She sadly announced that it would not be possible for her to go because her father did not have the $37BZ to send her and she had no uniform and no shoes. I taught her to sew and together we made 2 uniforms. I paid her tuition and got her the shoes, pencils, books, and backpack she needed. In the beginning, she was consistently late as it took her 1.5 hours to walk to school. Her teacher loaned her a bike until we found Gringo Granny Lena who helped buy her a used bike which we fixed up, painted black and added pink flowers across the frame. Roxana learned very quickly and continues to receive all good reports from her teachers. 

Gringo Granny Roberta of Missouri sent Roxana new uniforms for the new school year. Thank you Auntie Bert.



Rocio (15)

 

Rocio has always excelled in school. Her parents were able to send her through the primary levels and part of high school. In 2012 , she would have had to drop out had it not been for a Gringo Granny in Connecticut who is sending $20 per month to help with Rocio's tuition ($750/yr), transportation (40 minute bus ride each way), books, school supplies, lunches, and uniforms. With a special donation from another Gringo Granny, Rocio started school in 2013  with a laptop computer. Now that she will be able to graduate from high school, her dreams of attending the university can be fulfilled.

 

NEEDING A HELPING HAND FROM A GRINGO GRAND....



Sherman (17)

hannah
 
Hannah Espat (6)
Hello,
My name is Sherman Benedicto Te. I live in Valley of Peace in the Cayo District of Belize. I am 17 years old. There are eight of us in our family. I attended the Belmopan Baptist High School and was in the second form when I had to stop because my Dad couldn't afford to pay my school fees. He has to pay many other things like the light bill and water bill, plus my sisters and brother are learning in primary school. He works very hard and does the best he can.  I want very much to continue my education so I can get a good job and help my family. Since it is unlikely that I would be able to attend college, I decided to go to the Cayo Centre for Employment Training (CET) to get my certification in two areas -- Tour Guide and Chef. Tourism is a big part of the Belize economy and I know I can get a good job in this area with training. I am writing this to kindly ask for a sponsor to help me this year in my studies. (If you wish to help Sherman, please email nirakenna at yahoo.com and put Sherman in the subject box). 

Tuition, books, and registration for the Tour Guide Training Program at CET is $900 per year ($75BZ or $37.50US per month). The Food Preparation and Cooking component is an additional $195 per year ($97.50US per year or about $8US per month)  If you can help with all or any part of these costs, please lend a hand. Email nirakenna at yahoo.com.

Hannah's favorite subject in school is math. When she grows up she wants to become a lawyer. She helps her family by selling fruits and vegetables in Belmopan with her brothers. Her dad is confined to a wheel chair after a vehicle struck him a few years ago.

$20 a month will help keep Hannah in school. She needs funds for books, school supplies, uniforms and tuition. If you can help in any way email nirakenna at yahoo.com with Hannah in the subject box.


Dorita (13)


 Basilia (24)
Hello,
My name is Dorita Te and I want to attend the Baptist High School in Belmopan which is about 12 miles from my village. I am kindly asking for help to sponsor me this year in my studies because my Dad couldn't afford to pay my school fees because he has to pay a lot of other things including school fees for my younger brothers and sisters, still in primary school. There are 8 children in my family. I did well in my primary studies and now I really want to go on and finish high school.  High school is more expensive than primary school which is why a lot of kids can't go even though they may want to. We also have bus passage, food costs, and book costs. I like to study and learn and I want to be able to make a difference when I grow up. I want to help my family and to help others.(If you wish to help Dorita, please email nirakenna at yahoo.com and put Dorita in the subject box). 

Tuition at Belmopan Baptist High School is $50 per month ($25US) and books cost about $400 ($200US) for the year. If you can help with all or any part of these costs, please lend a hand.  Email nirakenna at yahoo.com.

Hello,
My name is Basilia Shol. I always loved and did well in school. I started at the University of Belize, but had to drop out due to finances. I live at home and help my parents with raising 4 brothers and 5 sisters. My dream is to become an accountant as I love math and have always done well in this subject. I want to help my family and get a good job here in Belize and to be a productive citizen in my country.

(If you wish to help Basilia, please email nirakenna at yahoo.com and put Basilia in the subject box). 
 
 

Tuition at the University of Belize is $700 ($350US) per semester . Four books for 4 classes will cost $50 to $75 ($25-$37.50US) per book. Transportation is $5 per day ($2.50US). If you can help with all or any part of these costs, please lend a hand.
Email nirakenna at yahoo.com.



Nelisha (6)


Jessy (5)
Hello,
I am Nelisha Shol. I am 7 years old and I hope I can go to school, but need some help to get there. I have a big family and my Mother and Father work very hard, but there is not enough to send us all to school because we have uniforms, tuition and books to buy. I want to learn to read and write. I like to do art work and I want to learn to spell words. 

(If you wish to help Nelisha, please email nirakenna at yahoo.com and put Nelisha in the subject box). 

Registration is $20 ($10US) and books cost $25 ($12.50US) each and she needs to buy reading and math books. Uniforms will cost $40 ($20US) and shoes will cost $25 ($12.50US) If you can help with all or any part of these costs, please lend a hand. Email nirakenna at yahoo.com.

Hello,
My name is Jessy Alexander Madrid. I want to go to school this year and I will just be starting. I like to color and play futball. In school I can learn to read, write and count.  I want to be an airplane pilot when I grow up. Sometimes my Daddy does not find work. He has to go far away to get work to pay for our food and house.

(If you wish to help Jessy, please email nirakenna at yahoo.com and put Jessy in the subject box). 
 

Registration is $20 ($10US) and books cost $25 ($12.50US) each and he needs to buy reading and math books. Uniforms will cost $40 ($20US) and shoes will cost $25 ($12.50US) If you can help with all or any part of these costs, please lend a hand.



Dominga (13)


Isiah (9)
My name is Dominga Shack and I am 13 years old. There are 7 children in my family. I want to be a nurse when I grow up. I was first in my class last year, but it will be very hard for me to continue school.  I am looking for assistance because my Father is a farmer. I need your help to go to school to pay for books, a school bag, uniforms, school shoes, crayons and a dictionary if you please. I do so appreciate and give thanks to the Lord.

Dominga's tuition is $35BZ ($17.50US) per year. Her books will cost $48BZ ($24US), uniforms $40BZ ($20US), shoes $35BZ ($17.50US), dictionary $20BZ ($10US), and school bag $30BZ ($15US).   If you can help with all or any part of these costs, please lend a hand.

Gringo Grand Sue from NY helped Dominga with tuition in 2013. Thanks Sue for helping Dominga. Dominga needs assistance for this year (2014).
Email nirakenna at yahoo.com to help with Dominga's school expenses.

My name is Isiah Shack and I am 10 years old. I have 6 brothers and sisters. We are Kechi Maya from Belize. I am willing to work very hard in school to have a better life in the future. I want to be a teacher to help other children to learn. So, I will look forward to going to high school and college. Thanks.

(If you wish to help Isiah, please email nirakenna at yahoo.com and put Isiah in the subject box). 
 

Isiah's tuition is $35BZ ($17.50US) per year. His books will cost $20BZ ($10US), uniforms $40BZ ($20US), shoes $50BZ ($25US), dictionary $20BZ ($10US), and school bag $30BZ ($15US).  If you can help with all or any part of these costs, please lend a hand. Isaih and his brother Israel received tuition money from an anonymous Gringo Grand, but both boys need help for books and uniforms.
Email nirakenna at yahoo.com.



Israel (7)
I am Israel Shack and I am looking for assistance to go to school because I want to learn. The name of the school is Monsignor Romero R.C. School and I am just  starting school and will go to infant two to learn reading and math. Thanks.

(If you wish to help Israel, please email nirakenna at yahoo.com and put Israel in the subject box). 
 
 
 
 

Israel's tuition is $40BZ ($20.00US) per year. His books will cost $10BZ ($5US), uniforms $40BZ ($20US), shoes $50BZ ($25US), and school bag $18BZ ($9US).  If you can help with all or any part of these costs, please lend a hand. 

Israel and his brother Isaih received tuition money from an anonymous Gringo Grand, but both boys need help for books and uniforms.
 

 


Marcela Shol (14)
Hello,
I am Marcela Shol. I am attending high school at the Belmopan Baptist High School. I am 15 years old and I kindly ask for help to sponsor me this year in my studies because my parents cannot afford to send me. There are 8 of us and several younger brothers and sisters are still attending primary school. It is hard for my Dad to pay all our fees and for what we need to attend school. I know how hard he works and the money he gets is all for us. My sisters Olga (12) and Edanna (7), and my little brother Jessy Alexander are all still attending primary school. After I graduate from high school I will be able to qualify for the police academy and can become a policewoman to help my village. Now I am a cadet in a program that is sponsored by our police department. It is to help the youth of our village learn skills and how to get along. (If you wish to help Marcela, please email nirakenna at yahoo.com and put Marcela in the subject box). 

Tuition at Belmopan Baptist High School is $50 per month ($25US) and books cost about $400 ($200US) for the year. If you can help with all or any part of these costs, please lend a hand. 

Gringo Grand Sara of NY is helping Marcela with  tuition and has donated a computer for her toward her studies.


 amir
Amir Espat  (11)

I am Amir Espat and I wish to become a doctor when I grow up. My favorite subject in school is science and I get all excellent grades. My dad was hit by a car a few years ago and is confined to a wheel chair. I help the family by selling fruits and vegetables and candies that my mother makes.



$20 a month will help keep Amir stay in school. He has been consistantly at the top of his class. He needs funds for books, school supplies, uniforms and tuition. If you can help in any way email nirakenna at yahoo.com with Amir in the subject box.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE CHILDREN NEEDING ASSISTANCE

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Valley of Peace SDA Academy High School Web Site


Flidgywumper
by Karin Westdyk
Available at Amazon and AppShopper

Purchase this book to help support GringoGrands


 
 

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