Juliana Anderson walked along Calle Ancha de los Herreros in Jocotenango, passing many children who were not going to school. Instead, those children carried shoe shine boxes or other things to sell and walked toward the center of town to work for the day.
“It’s a totally humbling experience,” said Juliana, who is 17 years old and a recent high school graduate. “I don’t have to work to provide for my family. I don’t have to have a sponsor to go to school.”
For the past several years, Juliana’s family sponsored students at Escuela Integrada. Both of their students, Evelyn and Victor, graduated and are now in vocational school.
Despite the nearly 4,500 miles between them, Evelyn and Juliana have something in common; they both finished in the top five of their class. For students at Escuela Integrada that means a scholarship to a nearby vocational school.
“Kids in America have access to so many things,” said Juliana, who will be a freshman at UNC Chapel Hill this fall. “These kids don’t have that.”
This experience is one Juliana hopes to carry with her into college. She plans to study nutrition and would like to travel to third world countries where she can help malnourished children.
“I love doing God’s work,” she said. “I’m excited to do whatever I can to help.”
Juliana and the 19 other high schoolers from St. John’s Lutheran Church spent their first day at Escuela Integrada getting to know the children. They also filled food bags for families, painted the inside of the school and went on home visits to see where the children of Escuela Integrada live.
To find out how you can support the children at Escuela Integrada, visit WeAreGraces.org/donate.