Progresa: Guatemala Friends Scholarship Program

Since 1973, Progresa has provided indigenous Guatemalans scholarships to study in Guatemalan universities.

In December 2023, more than 100 past and present scholarship recipients gathered in Guatemala City to celebrate 50 years of the program. Guests from two other Quaker programs in Guatemala also attended: Karen Gregorio de Calderón of FWCC Section of the Americas; and Jackie Stillwell of Right Sharing of World Resources.

This year, 17 students supported by Progresa have graduated from universities in Guatemala, 14 women and 3 men. These graduates earned degrees in social work, medicine, law, psychology, nursing, psychopedagogy, physical therapy, agronomy, sociolinguistics, law, and art. Among the graduates, 7 of the 22 indigenous Mayan languages are represented.

Progresa’s scholarship program requires recipients to perform community service to benefit their respective indigenous Mayan communities and build their resumes. One of the social work majors arranged for people from her community to learn how to install solar panels at a Barefoot College in India. After their training they returned to Guatemala and installed solar panels.

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