“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.”
Fredy and Lorenzo Guicoy (Yuda Band sponsored students) are brothers from a village called Sacalá in Guatemala. They are 2 of 7 children in a family with ongoing economic struggles. Their father is a farmer but what limited income he provides is consumed in his drinking habits. In addition he does not see the value of education and refuses to contribute to his children’s schooling. In order to support the family’s needs, Fredy’s older sister (a previous Yuda Band sponsored student) works as a nurse and Lorenzo, attends weekend courses so that he can work during the week. However the income was still not enough and the Guicoy children found themselves unable to sustain their pursuit of education and the necessities of life for their family. Here Fredy (16), nobly made the difficult decision to withdraw from school this year in order for his brother Lorenzo (18) to remain in school to complete his last year and graduate. Fredy will work this year to provide necessities for his family and return to his schooling next year
Fredy’s decision is a testimony to the way that education has already changed his life and perspective. He knows the only way to break the poverty cycle which has consumed his family, and been enhanced by alcoholism, is through education. One of the focuses of Yuda Band’s LEAD program (Leadership Education Attitude Development) is to teach life skills, one of which is the danger of alcohol. Fredy has witnessed by the example of his father’s alcoholism, the tragedy of being consumed by your circumstances rather than conquering them. The course of action Fredy has chosen is to empower himself through education and do his best to provide that tool of empowerment to all of his siblings–beginning with Lorenzo. Fredy says of one of his goals is to become a nurse “because I’d like to be able to help people.” With the courageous decision to help his brother succeed in his education, we have no doubt Fredy will go on to complete his own and to help many more lives!