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EDUCATING QUAKERS Bolivia and the U. S.
Does Education Help You Be a Better Quaker? Have you learned anything in school this year that helps you be a better Quaker? Have you learned anything in school this year that goes against what you learn in Quaker meeting? Quakers in Bolivia believe that education is very important for them. Let’s compare their schools and education with yours.
Bolivia has the largest number of Quakers in the Wester Hemisphere outside the US Most live in the department of La Paz In the high plains or the city
Most Bolivian Quakers worship in large churches where singing, preaching and praying last for many hours.
Alicia spent much of her childhood high in the mountains.
Alicia helped in the fields when she was ten years old.
Her grandparents raised animals to help support the family.
Her grandmother milked the cow.
Her family also raised llamas.
She and her family planted potatos
Alycia was able to go to school
She got a scholarship from the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund, and was able to graduate from the public university.
Internship in the U. S.
The Story of Ruben
Ruben also grew up in the mountains. There was no school near his home. His parents took him to a Quaker boarding school in the town of Achacachi
Ruben’s family sold some of their animals and some vegetables to pay his tuition at the school. Here is a video of students at the one of the Quaker Schools in the mountains. http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=8 D 5 f. Jl. N 9 Te 4
Rubén Goes to the University • • When he was 15 Rubén moved to the city. He lived with his brother and mother in a small house. His brother worked full time and earned only $50 a month. Rubén wanted to go to the university to study to be an English teacher. He got a scholarship for $50 a month from the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund, so he was able to go.
Ruben taught at a Quaker school, Colegio Emmanuel in La. Paz.
Here some students from his school are in an English program.
With the help of the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund, Quaker schools have been able to add computer classes.
In 2008, Ruben and Alicia both came to the United States to work in Quaker Schools here. You can see video interviews with Alicia and Ruben here http: //bqef. org/? q=node/397
Ruben shared music with students and with Quaker groups.
Benito’s Story • Many children live very far from schools. Benito had to walk two hours down the mountain to high school every morning and walk two hours up the mountain at night.
He also got a scholarship from the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund to go to college.
When he graduated he wanted to help the children in his hometown go to school. Many of the children in Pallcapampa did not go to high school because it was so far away. Many children only went to the third grade. Benito wanted to help them. While he was in college he learned about Internados, houses where children could stay during the week while they went to school. (Photo Treasures of the Andes
The Bolivian Quaker Education Fund helped him create the Internado. Soon there was a place for children to stay in town. For videos of the Internado: http: //bqef. org/? q=node/10
Now children live at the Internado during the week so they have time to study and play.
This mother and son are ready to leave from the Internado to return home for a visit.
Do you think education is important for Quakers in Bolivia? Do you want to help? (go to BQEF. org for ideas. )