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After becoming the champions of Itzapa our girls football team were invited to play against other departments representing San Andres Itzapa. A day trip to Santa Polonia for the team, teachers and some of the supporting students! They played against the competition and unfortunately lost 2-1 on penalties! They did very well as the other team were a lot bigger than our children! (not hard to believe considering that when we weighed our children they averagely weighed 3stone!). Despite not continuing in the competition they all enjoyed the experience and the opportunity of a school trip. Training has begun for next year (foto) but for now they are still the champions of Itzapa!
Every year we celebrate Mothers Day but this year is was INCREDIBLE, almost unbelievable. The event started late as always but once started the Mums enjoyed a dance from each grade, the children did a spectacular job and they were dressed beautifully in traditional dress. After a few games and the mums receiving their Mothers day gifts we thought the event was coming to an end. Then we were told about a surprise visitor…nothing could have prepared us for what followed. The mums were in fits of laughter after the initial shock passed and the teachers were left mortified the next day. This was simply the best Mothers Day to date, everyone truly enjoyed themselves!
CHAMPIONS!!! On 19th April, our Pájaro de Fuego girls football team beat another local school to win the Itzapa Municipality Football Cup – it finished 1-1 and they won on penalties! Next step is playing against local towns in Chimaltenango starting on 2nd May against Santa Polonia, one and half hours away by chicken bus…and then who knows…perhaps champions of Guatemala!!
Lisa Bailey’s Breast Health meeting with the mums in Santa María was a huge success. This pioneering presentation was the first the mothers had ever received and they learned about breast health and how to prevent for a check for future illness. We also started Plan Ironwoman, distributing seeds for iron-rich vegetables, which we believe will improve pre and post-natal nutrition. The group also built five energy-efficient stoves and helped out in the classroom on their final day. Thanks Lisa, Yvonne, Karen, Leslie and Susan.
New kids in Santa Maria! It´s been a good month with the addition of two new kids in Santa Maria, they are only 3 years old and come everyday to School, walk straight into the classroom and sit at a table just to be involved in the lessons.
Great results from the first exams of the year in Itzapa; over all the subjects, including Spanish, Kaqchikel, English, maths, sciences, dance and theatre and PE the averages were very good; kinder: 77%, 1st grade: 84%, 2nd grade: 79%, 3rd grade (photo of José Angel – his class has 38 students): 80%, 4th grade: 71%, 5th grade: 77% and 6th grade: 79%.
Lisa Bailey, surgeon and specialist in breast cancer surgery and cancer prevention at the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland, California, along with her work colleagues Leslie Paine, Karen Revelli, Yvonne Weiss and Susan Woods (Susan is a teacher) arrive in Guatemala on 13th to build stoves, talk about breast health with the mothers and also implement Plan Ironwoman (iron-enriched vegetables and diet), which is also being trialled in Ecuador.
Our first set of nationally recognised exams of the year were held in Itzapa with additional topics being covered, including dance and music: specifically concentrating on local tradition and culture. Moli has also introduced an oral element to the English exams, something that not even national schools offer. Over the week, Moli conducted 210 individual oral exams with 54 earning 100%.
Each year, we celebrate Semana Santa with the school’s own procession around the streets of Itzapa after days of preparations and the collection of a lot of locally grown flowers and pines!. The streets were full to see the procession go by which gave such pride to our kids!
The 12th was Carnival in Guatemala and we celebrated at Itzapa with Pica Pica!! The party started at 8am and basically consisted of over two hundred kids throwing Pica Pica (bit like confetti) at each other for four hours! The children had an absolute ball, especially the new kids in Parvulos!The teachers prepared snacks for the children, the hotdogs were a winner! A great day at the Phoenix Projects
Santa María opened its doors on 4th Feb to 140 children with Doreen, Santiago and Elvia continuing the teaching. Of the children, 40 are new from the ages of four and five and Elvia has the pleasure of starting their educational life!
Two new classrooms have been built in Itzapa ready for the new school year. It was a bit of a race against time but with a great effort from the community they were built just in time to welcome the children back to school.
The new school year has begun in Itzapa and it is off to a fantastic start with 240 children; we welcomed back all of the students from last year and some new faces in the preschool. The children were ever so excited to find out which of our 8 teachers they had and who would have the new classrooms!
News from 2012
We think the 40 local teachers we employ here at Phoenix are pretty special so we try to make them feel special too! Here is Yohana, our sixth grade teacher in Itzapa, Guatemala getting 150 birthday hugs at birthday celebrations on 6th September 2012!
For the first time in Itzapa we joined all the schools marching to celebrate Independence Day on Friday! After months of practice, preparing of outfits and hair and make-up all 216 children in primary school marched through Itzapa! Our recently crowned ‘Ninas’ we on the back of a pick-up on a sofa waving to the crowd and throwing sweets. Whilst the rest played instruments, carried banners or just marched with pride. We watched with lumps in our throats as they (in our humble opinion) played and marched the best and with the most pride. A great day for Phoenix and for Guatemala!!