Hello!  My name is Kimberly Julissa López and I am 22 years old. I live in a town named San Antonio Aguas Calientes from the department of Sacatepéquez where I have lived all my life. This community inspires not only cultural but peaceful values, in which I was able to feel and see first-hand the traditions and cultures that characterize my region.

My parents are known for being fair and honest people. They are hardworking craftsmen, who have always taught me to never  give up. They have taught me and my brothers to be perseverant and to work with effort to reach our goals.  These values have helped me to be think critically and grow as a good person. I am willing to continuously learn in life and am always focusing on ways to help others. 

Currently, I am a nursing student. I have the desire to continue learning and get deeper into the study of nursing so that I can train myself not only academically but also professionally. Someday I would like to get a Ph.D. degree focused on health. Medicine is an important profession because you never stop learning new information and it’s amazing to see how our body and mind works. Finally, what led me to study medicine is the feeling of assisting the needy and providing them an adequate service to their needs.

My future plans would be to graduate as a nurse or even a physician’s assistant. I want to promote health education in my community, I want to travel to different countries so I can continue my studies in the field of medicine and I want to provide better service to my community.

In addition, I also want to create a clinic with different health professionals and specialties in order to cover the medical needs in my community. I want to be able to provide employment and at the same time promote hygiene habits to the people so they can lead a dignified life.

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 Kimberly for just $25/month