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March 17, 2014

Michels Family Fund: Giving an Opportunity

Originally published in Spanish in the Guatemalan newspaper, el quetzalteco Lunes.
Translation provided by Ivanova Oliva.


Knowing the hard situation from the youth in Guatemala was the motivation for an American person to help them.

When Arthur Michels heard the story about a young Guatemalan man who was forced to give up on his studies to work and maintain his family, the American (From Illinois) knew that it was the moment to start helping the people from Guatemala. That’s why he created the “Arthur Michels Family Foundation” Program which helps young people with scholarships since 2004. “I want them to have a good education so some day they can be leaders from this country,” said Michels.

This Project gives scholarship to young people from Quetzaltenango, Colomba, El Palmar, Coatepeque, Cantel, San Carlos Sija, Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan and Solola. Ivanova Oliva (Program’s Coordinator) said that they have created a profile for the students who need to have an average of 80 points or more, and she do a socio-economic study, so this way, the help will go straight to the most needy people.

“They are an example of fighting because if you fight for what you want, if you really give all you can and you set goals you can reach them. We are not only looking for good grades, we are looking for people consent of the reality and willing to help others, people that fight day by day to be someone and with the hope of doing something for their country” Said Oliva.

“I Dream of being utile for my country,” said Angelica Ajanel who joined the program 4 years ago. “Thanks to the help we receive we’re able to do the things that because of the bad economy here in Guatemala we’re not in the capacity of doing,” said Ajanel. Ajanel told us that the high expenses of materials she needs for the architecture career were an obstacle that because of the help, she was able overcome. “This invites us to keep going because we are the future of Guatemala”

Damaris Rivera, Student of Professor on Pedagogy and Sciences of the Education wants to return what she has received. She assures that the Program is giving a big opportunity to her and all the students, and she believes that this Program is pushing the progress of Guatemala. “We are going to return and multiply this satisfaction of helping others” Said Rivera who is sorry that here exist teachers that doesn’t bet in education, teachers without vocation and responsibility.

The amount of students decreases every year in Quetzaltenango. Based on the statistics from the Departmental Direction of Education on 2009 were 261,973 students and on 2013 there were only 243,828 students. Some of the main cases of this decrease are: Poverty, migration and early pregnancy.

Ivanova Oliva said that the program supports of primary students, high school students, career students and university careers. For more information you can contact her on her e-mail

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