Comité de Becas Mary Sue
Mary Sue Morris, born in Amarillo, Texas, came to La Antigua in 1981 to learn Spanish. She fell in love with the country and in 1993 she came back, purchased some land and built the impeccably appointed Posada del Angel and the Joyería del Angel, both very successful businesses in Antigua.
When she became very ill she chose a group of friends to make up the board of directors of what had been her dream—a scholarship program for very poor children in rural Guatemala. She knew this group of friends would make good use of the funds and would work as volunteers.passed away in March 2007 having set up a trust fund for Comité de Becas Mary Sue. The mission of Comité de Becas Mary Sue is to give Guatemalan children, who otherwise would not get an education, the opportunity to go to school.
The committee chose a school in Chichi-castenango where the 45 scholarship recipients, pre-school through first-year básico, could attend school and receive an education. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, books and uniforms.
The committee does follow-up visits by traveling to Chichi to get to know and encourage the children with their studies. Since many of the parents had no schooling, the children don’t receive much guidance or understand the value of an education. The committee meets with the children, teachers, supervisors and parents to promote the program.
It has also provided an internet connection for the school, allowing web access for 19 new Dell computers that were donated by another entity.
After committee members heard many of the students shouting, “We want to learn English!” when they were visiting the school, they found a local English teacher to give lessons.
The Psychology Department of the Univers-idad del Valle de Guatemala has been working with the committee to help motivate the children, and more importantly to give them tools to learn problem-solving skills, as well as guidelines to eliminate bullying. Del Valle also works with the teachers and parents, who are delighted with this attention.
To help pay for continued assistance from del Valle, proceeds from the annual performances of Handel’s Messiah will be donated to the program. Performances will be Nov. 30 at the National Theatre in Guatemala City and on Dec. 1 at Casa Santo Domingo in La Antigua. Both performances will begin at 7:30 p.m.