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Centro Educativo La Minga would like to proudly announce four new university graduates as of March, 2023.  I would like to ‘wax poetic’ about the integrity, character, and strength of purpose of all of these individuals.  They really are the crème de la crème!  If you saw pictures of the humble beginnings of all these kids, living in a chosa (dirt floor hut with thatched roof) and, if lucky, one bare light bulb to illuminate the hut, then you’d be as impressed as I.  Their daily chores would consist of feeding the animals which probably would involve moving them to the designated field prior to going to school.  They would then help to plant and/or harvest crops in the afternoon, and also carry buckets to collect water from the closest source which might be uphill or downhill of their chosa.  But, as you will soon detect, the strength, support and love of their families gives them unstoppable resolve.

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Kerly Jhomayra Toaquiza Sigcha decided to get a degree in Accounting and Auditing at Universidad Tecnica de Cotopaxi which involved leaving her family and living in the ‘big city’ of Latacunga, the provincial capital of our province of Cotopaxi.  The rigors of attending a university, especially in the department of accounting were challenging, but Kerly was able to surmount them with grace!  One of the requirements for university graduation in Ecuador is to either write a thesis, scientific article, and/or pass an exam.  Her project was to compare the profitability of three different cooperativas.  You can read her final project by clicking on the Project Button

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Maria Clara Ante Toaquiza, Clarita graduated from our ‘Colegio a Distancia’ high school in 2010.  A few years later, while pregnant, began to attend university.  But for various reasons, she had to put her education on hold.  She resumed attendance at Universidad Politecnica Salesiana (UPS) in 2018 with a major as a teacher in Basic Education.  Note:  UPS is an online university which the Ecuadorian Department of Education established primarily to help the indigenous get an education. As we have learned from the COVID pandemic, online learning is very difficult!  And if you add in the difficulties of unreliable electricity at 10,000 feet in the Andes as well as internet service – not to mention the expense of internet - plus trying to learn from viewing the small screen of a cell phone, Clarita’s accomplishment (at age 32) is both laudable and amazing!  Clarita took the proactive step of buying a computer which she had to do in installments with high interest.  I simply cannot praise our darling Clarita enough!


One of her final projects was to start a huerto (kitchen herb & medicinal garden) with her Novenos (8th graders) including creating posters describing their uses.  They placed these plants by the concrete bleachers – in front of a retaining wall.  Some of the plants are:  rosemary, lemon verbena, chamomile, mint, etc.  Here are some photos taken from her project. 

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Dennis Omar Huishca Toaquiza didn’t graduate from one of our two high schools.  (Yes, we still have a Weekend High School as some families need their children to work in the fields and take care of their animals during the week.)  So when he first applied to be a becado, Centro Educativo La Minga didn’t accept him.  Note:  The reason for this is that our colegio enrollment has been declining and if this continues, we will lose the funding for our teachers from the Ecuadorian Department of Education.  I’ve been told that the decline is because of the government’s program “Sexualidad sin Misterio” (free Birth Control) a decade or more ago has worked; also people are leaving el campo to try to find better paying work in the cities.  Who would want to leave Malingua Pamba?)  Dennis choose to graduate from a h.s. in Latacunga even though his parents live in Quinta Tunguiche.)  When I learned that he was within 6 months of graduation from the Universidad Tecnica de Cotopaxi (UTC) with a major in Journalism, I decided to fund his last few months from my savings.  (Didn’t want to be in violation of CELM’s policy, but certainly wanted to help support an aspiring journalist!)

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Ana Yolanda Lara Andino, Anita graduated from our ‘Colegio a Distancia’ high school in 2017.  So you know, each year that our colegio has been in operation we have been able to get better teachers, plus the depth of education is deeper.  Anita began her post-high school education by becoming a nursing assistant.  The certification of which she received in 2019 even with the birth of her daughter in 2018.  Like Clarita, Anita is a single mother who wants to properly support her child and be a shining example for her.  Anita is graduating with a degree in Early Childhood Education from the Universidad Tecnica de Cotopaxi.  The scientific article that she wrote as part of her graduation requirements was published in Mexico!  If you’d like to view this article, please clicking on the Project Button

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