Peace is the fruit of love, a love that is also justice. But to grow in love requires work — hard work. And it can bring pain because it implies loss — loss of the certitudes and comforts that shelter and define us.” –Jean Vanier
“The Fr. Jon Cortina Solidarity Scholarship program has been created this year to give youth from the town of Guarjila, Chalatenango, El Salvador the opportunity to study in universities. The students who apply need to show not only great academic performance, but more importantly a commitment to improving their community while they study and after they finish their degree. Students will complete community service work during the academic year from educating youth in Catechesis classes, to reforesting the depleting hills around the town, to giving English classes on the weekends.
Students will be supported locally by the program coordinator, Luis Lopez, who has worked with the Tamarindo youth group since its founding in 1992 and is employed by the Tamarindo Foundation. Luis has served as president of the town’s leadership council. Luis will monitor student’s academic progress, community service work, and communication with funders. Luis runs the monthly scholarship committee meetings which consists of 5 members who represent a broad spectrum of the community including education, youth work, and town leadership. The committee’s role is to select deserving applicants and support them throughout their course of study.
The funding of the program will be organized by Joe Albers who has visited, lived, and worked with the Guarjila community and Tamarindo youth group since 2000. The Tamarindo Foundation is supporting the program as one of its many projects.”