Major: Natural Sciences with environmental orientation
School: San Carlos University, Rio Dulce/Livingston Campus
Originally From: Semuy, Izabal, Guatemala
Evan was born and grew up in the village of Semuy, which is located in the mountains overlooking Lake Izabal. The village has no running water or electricity. In the village, a Mayan language is spoken and Spanish is used as a second language. Their father, Enrique Tzí, owns a very small piece of land on which there are cardamom trees, planted in the nineteenth century by German immigrants into Guatemala.
When she was five years old she wanted to start school in her village but was discouraged by her mother. Fortunately, her father saw the value of an education and gave her some good advice about staying in school. At a very young age, she and her siblings would cut cardamom on the weekends because that was the only means of earning money for food. When she was ten years old, she learned how to plant malanga, güisquil, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, yucca, chile, and beans as well as raise barnyard animals.
There was not a middle school in her village. The closest middle school was about a 3 hour walk away. Fortunately, a GSSG partner (TEACH) had built a dormitory in a village that had a middle school. She was allowed to stay at the dormitory while attending classes during the week.
In high school, her favorite classes were natural sciences, dance, and mathematics. Because of her experience as a young child on her family farm, she dreamed of studying an agricultural science at a university. Agricultural science is particularly important for small communities in the rural department of Izabal. These villages very much need to develop a broader economic base for their community and learn how to deal with crop disease and market fluctuations.
With the help of a GSSG scholarship, Evan has been able to enroll in San Carlos University. Ultimately, she hopes to graduate from the university and help her family and her community to improve their agricultural productivity.
Education is very important in her life. She sees it as the path that leads young people toward prosperity and a better future for her community. Without an education, she does not think she can achieve the success for which she yearns.
Evan has successfully completed her first year at San Carlos University with a major in Natural Sciences with environmental orientation.