3610 Cedardale Rd Unit C
360-424-6848
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From Shoeshine Boy to Student

Posted May 19th, 2009

The Importance of Education

Jim and April Axthelm recently sponsored an educational scholarship for a young boy they met in Guatemala . The young man works the streets of San Barillas as a shoeshine boy and ice cream bar seller. His story is similar to many young children in the more impoverished areas of the country. Javier doesn¹t know his name but he said it¹s something like this: Javier Marcos Pedro Nicolas. Javier attended school only for the first grade, then he had to quit to go to work.

He is living with his grandparents along with his three brothers and a sister His older brother is Juan 18, the second is Tomas 13, the third is Javier 11, the fourth is Cristina 8, and the fifth is Vidalio 5. Their parents live in Chancolin, a village that is one and a half hours from downtown Barillas. The father visits them every month and sometimes every two months. Javier doesn¹t know why his parents are living in Chancolin as they live with their grandparents. He misses them. His older brother Juan, 18, is working as a bus helper in Barillas. Tomas 13, and Javier 11, are working selling ice cream bars and shining shoes. When the weather is warm they sell ice cream for an employer. When they receive their payment every month they have to report to their grandma and then they go to the market and buy corn, beans, some meat, vegetables and fruit for the whole family. The family is dependent on the boys working to have enough money to eat. He often does not have breakfast and sometimes comes hoe late form work and misses dinner as well. Hunger is a common thing.

When it’s raining, usually they take their shoeshine box and go around the streets and knock on doors to shine shoes. What they collect they give to grandma so she takes care of them. Their schedule is usually from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. While they work all day, they typically interact with other children who shine shoes and sell food and other items in the streets.

At age 12, Javier now has the opportunity to attend school. In January 2009, Javier will begin the first grade again. His future will become brighter and his opportunities greater as his mind expands thru education. Axthelm Construction would like to thank all of our clients. It is because of your business that we are able to help in our community and abroad. Without you, Javier would not be going to school.

Axthelm Construction would like to thank all of our clients. It is because of you that we are able to help in our community and abroad. We hope that you will take ownership of the good things that you have made possible.

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