Juan Carlos

Juan Carlos 2021


Juan Carlos

My name is Juan Carlos Choc Yaxcal.  When I was growing up, my family had to make and sell tamales, pinol, and empanadas to pay my school tuition in order for me to continue with my studies.  My family are good people who have helped me a lot.  I feel very happy to spend time with them, despite the distance I am from them now. I try and visit them often. We have a very nice home that is surrounded by trees. My house may not be a luxurious home but every day I am grateful and very proud to have my family around and share my good times with them.

I am learning a lot in school and my goal is to obtain new experiences and knowledge that will help me in life. Currently, in my seminar course, my classmates and I are doing a project called Proyecto de Nación (National Project) that is about investigating and knowing the possible problems our country faces daily. This kind of project gives me a lot of encouragement to search for valuable information about my country and know more about it. I really like the career I chose because lots of people I know highly recommended it to me. I will be able to learn and obtain information about computer systems, and I will be able to know how to use networks and web pages, etc.

My future goals are the following: I want to be a professional person and obtain more knowledge through training; that way I can achieve success and improve the quality of my life. I want to be able to help my family with the economic circumstances they are living in. I would like to create projects that will support those in need in my community. I want to be a courageous person who fights every day to achieve my dreams. Every moment I am grateful to the people who help me to continue my studies!  Thank you!

Education System Glossary

Since the Guatemalan government only funds education to the end of elementary school, it is not all that common, especially in the rural areas, for someone to graduate from middle school. Thus, these students are awarded an actual degree, called the Basico, which carries some weight when looking for a job, etc.

High school comes in a variety of flavors in Guatemala. All of course are private, and there are seemingly as many curriculums as there are schools. Some high schools focus on particular careers, such as teaching, accounting, surveying, etc. Usually, it takes 3-4 years to complete, and they are awarded with a certificate of competency at the end. In teaching, the certificate entitles one to teach at the elementary school level only. More academically-oriented high schools have a curriculum similar to US schools, which includes language arts, math, science, history, etc. These typically require 4-5 years to complete, and graduates are awarded the Diversificado degree, which is required if the student wishes to continue their education at the University level. This is the degree that most GSSG-supported high school students are pursuing.

The University system in Guatemala is like the high school system, in that there are many degrees, and many ways to get a degree. There is only one public university, the University of San Carlos, and about a dozen private universities. Like high school, students can decide early to specialize in a particular field, and after 2-3 years, graduate with a “tecnico” degree. In education, this degree awards them the title of “Profesor”, and qualifies them to teach all the way through high school. For those wishing to go further in Education or other fields, there is the “Licenciatura” degree, which is awarded after four years of study in one’s major plus an additional year researching and writing a thesis that addresses some national problem in Guatemala. So far, three GSSG students have been awarded their Licenciatura degree, with several more hoping to have theirs by next year.

Sponsor Juan Carlos for just $25/month