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September 2016

Summer News Change is in the Air!

7 more students graduated from college this year and 15 graduated from high school and junior high.

Continuing Staff

MTF is thankful for its continuity. Loretta Mondragon continues as Webmaster and Tyra Kennedy as Bookkeeper. Rich and Jan Leveille continue as active members of the board and Rev. Gary Riebe continues as Director.


New Staff

This summer Joanne Castronovo joined our team as Sponsor Coordinator.  Joanne’s involvement with MTF started in 1996, when she began leading student summer immersions to Yajalon. If you have any questions concerning sponsorship or donations, you can contact Joanne at 916-200-9220.


A Special Thank-You

Mrs. Virginia Nelson continues as a member of the board of directors. She was one of the founding members of MTF in 1980. She is now 84 years old with multiple health problems but is still dedicated to helping the Mayan kids get an education.



In the past 25 years, the program has evolved from five students living at the local parish and attending school to more than 200 students in junior high, high school and college. Over 250 of our young people have earned their professional college degrees and are back working with their own people as agronomists, teachers, social workers, nurses, doctors and priests.  We have come a long way from the old days when the Mayan children started to work in the fields from the time they could walk; when all they knew was life in the mountain villages; when custom dictated marriage for boys at 16 and girls at 14 or 15; when no one went to school; when life expectancy was 40 years of age; when we had to practically beg some of the some of the more inquisitive youth to give education a chance. We are now at a time when many young people of the area believe that education is the only way out of poverty and are willing, with the help of their parents, to make the sacrifices necessary to go to school and build a better future.

Change is a sign of growth and growth is a sign of Life. We are happy to share with our friends and donors the changes, growth and new life of the Chiapas Education Program, Yashalum.





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