One of the best parts of the educational system in Guatemala is the practical career training students are offered during their high school years. We have two future chefs and a future doctor living in our home, waiting for the day they can hone their craft in a classroom again. Brayan, Myra, and Aracely have all transitioned into diversificado, specialized career training, during their high school years. They’re still working towards their future, even if career training during a Pandemic looks different.
Whereas some schools only allow one course of study, Brayan’s school has allowed him the ability to study both art and cooking for the last several years. In some ways, studying art helps him create more aesthetically pleasing and flavorful dishes.
Brayan is a creator, an artist who isn’t limited to paint, clay, or pencils. He has an innate ability to see and portray the beauty of life around him. Culinary studies are his way of creating someone for others to experience.
Being quarantined at home for the last few months makes completing his studies more difficult. At this point, Brayan is accustomed to being in a kitchen with his teachers, surrounded by every kitchen tool and appliance imaginable. As the teachers slice, dice, and sear, he follows suit. With several years of study behind him already, Brayan is preparing for more internships at amazing local restaurants. But, COVID-19 hit Guatemala.
Along with our other children, Brayan’s been home since mid-March and is continuing classes via video call. Luckily, Brayan has a home full of mostly eager taste-testers. He does miss his large kitchen though.
Brayan is looking forward to the day school reopens. Very soon, we’ll have a culinary school graduate in the Dorie’s Promise family. Until then, we’ll continue enjoying his homework.
While Brayan sees cooking as an outlet for his creativity, Aracely sees food as a way to discover the world and help people. In January, Aracely began her first year of culinary studies.
A few years ago, if you asked Aracely what she wanted to be, her answer might have been a tour guide. She was studying the history of Guatemala in school as well as expanding her English proficiency.
When the time came to choose a program of study to finish out high school, Aracely chose culinary arts. Her desire to learn about other cultures hasn’t changed, but how she wants to learn has expanded. Although she could study and teach others as a tour guide, becoming a chef allows her to give people the experience of other cultures without leaving Guatemala. Her food can transport them to places they’ve never been through sight, smell, and taste.
Using Zoom and homework assignments, she’s working towards her future career without leaving our home. Although she’s only recently begun her studies, not meeting with her teachers and working with friends on projects makes her studies more difficult. She can’t wait to get back to school so her lessons can pick up more quickly.
Aracely has always had a heart for those in need. She cares for younger children in our home, assists mission teams with activities, and gives her time during community projects. A part of her is always looking for the opportunity to help others.
Finishing culinary school and opening her own restaurant is Aracely’s dream. We can see her creating a place where people are welcomed and loved—a place of good food, great experiences, family, and friends.
From the moment she came to live with us, Myra has been laser-focused on one goal—becoming a doctor. In January, she began a medical and biology program.
Experiencing the loss of her mother profoundly impacted Myra’s life direction. Not only did her family circumstances change, but she also chose to carry her mother’s legacy into her own life. Inspired by her mother’s life and wanting to honor her determination and fight, Myra hopes to share her love and compassion with others as a doctor. Being highly intelligent, determined, and compassionate gives her the edge she needs for the path ahead.
Not only does Myra enjoy her classes, studying the human body’s complexity brings her closer to God. She appreciates God’s creativity and the intricacy of his design. For Myra, this is what God created her to do.
Through Zoom and homework, she’s quickly working through her coursework. Thanks to special friends, Myra received her own set of medical instruments for Christmas last year. It’s not the same as class, but she can shadow Doc Castro and our nurse while at home. Myra is looking forward to returning to school. Studying medicine via Zoom is not nearly the same as learning in person, although studying medicine during a pandemic gives her a special insight into compassionate patient care.
Working Towards Their Future Career
We’re so proud of Brayan, Aracely, and Myra. This is a strange time to be a student, but they are making the best of their situation. Every day, they show up to class and do their work. They’ve become leaders in our home. We know they’ll finish well, achieve their dreams, and do big things.
Career training can happen during a pandemic, it just looks different.