Guatemala Scholarship Program in the Time of Covid

We have been in partnership with the Unión Maya Quiché Boca Costa Presbytery in rural Guatemala for 17 years, but nothing like the pandemic has ever had such a great effect on the students we support with scholarships.

The Government of Guatemala closed all schools on March 16 and instituted Covid-19 restrictions much stronger than those here. They included a nationwide curfew from 6:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. weekdays and a total curfew on Sundays. There have been no worship services in our partner churches. And what about our students? They’ve been able to use forms of distance learning “Aprendo en casa/Learn at Home” provided by schools, and education continues, though we all know it is not the same. In these uncertain times it is difficult to know what education will be like in Guatemala, but we want to be ready in the event students can start classes in January 2021 when the new school year begins.

Last year we raised enough funds to offer scholarships to 82 students in middle and high school. It was a bitter disappointment that we were unable to have a summer mission trip and meet with the students and their families. It is always so inspiring to hear how much the opportunity to study means to them.

The Guatemala Scholarship fundraising season will extend from September 13—October 18, 2020. Our goal continues to be raising enough to support every current scholarship recipient and to replace those who graduate.

First Presbyterian Church of Howard County

The cost of a full scholarship is $460. Contributions of any size are welcome.

You could pay on the church website through the church PayPal account (<< use the button at left!) or mail a check to
First Presbyterian Church of Howard County
9325 Presbyterian Circle, Columbia, MD 21045.

Don’t forget to indicate “Guatemala Scholarships” in the note section. For deferred or installment payments, contributions in memory or in honor of someone, or questions, please send an email

Some background:  Since 2003 First Presbyterian Church of Howard County has maintained a partnership with the Unión Maya Quiché Boca Costa Presbytery, composed of indigenous Mayan Guatemalans. After experimenting with various programs suggested for such partnerships, we realized that we both placed a high value on education. And we could do something about the insurmountable cost barrier they faced for the upper grades. Individual members of First Presbyterian would volunteer to pay the costs of middle and high school for a limited number of students. The students are selected by the sessions of their churches. Their Presbytery Executive Committee administers the program. Every year they present our Guatemala Mission Committee with documentation of enrollment, tuition and other payments, and grade cards. Every aspect of our partnership is based on the principles of honesty, transparency and accountability.

– The Guatemala Partnership Team