Monday, December 18, 2006

the seed has taken root...

In 2004, I was exposed to the possibility of putting a computer into a a small school in Guatemala. This project grew to a computer lab in the city of Pastores. During September of 2005 a team of men from Clearwater, Florida to Pastores and installed the infrastructure for the 36 computers donated to the city from St. Petersburg College (SPC) in Florida. This included tables, electrical support, network wiring, and a DSL satellite for internet connectivity. Due to import glitches the computers were not released and the lab was not finished until March of 2006.

This lab was an experiment with potential for enormous gain or enormous losses. The project itself cost more than expected, had opposition from many directions and until now has been merely a seed waiting to grow.

Sunday the 17th of December, I was priviledged to participate in the first graduation for the Computer Training classes of the City of Pastores. The number of graduates totaled 40 students. 30 or so children ranging in ages 10 - 15 and the rest were adults.

When we had recieved the invitation it was for the staff and only to attend. With all that has been happening it was only realistic for Nancy and I to be there. Once we arrived I was informed that not only was to attend but also make a few comments and help hand out the diplomas. No one in the room spoke English. My friend the Mayor of Pastores, Miguel Lopez, put me up to this and was laughing while I gave my presentation... in Spanish wthout translation.

One interesting fun fact is that the Ministry of Education for the Department of Sacatepequez; the government agency that the Pastores Educational system is responsible too; had to figure out how to credit these students with their certification. You see no other school in this department has a computer lab. For this part of Guatemala, at least at this point in time, this is the only computer lab of its kind; filling a niche.

Once again God demonstrates that he uses unlikely people in unique situations. It will be interesting to see just what this seed grows into.

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