Deili Peruch has lived outside the village of San Vicente Buenabaj with her eight siblings all her life. She had never touched the keys of a computer keyboard or explored life beyond her isolated community. That is, until CoEd set up a computer center at her school.
“I have already learned how to use Microsoft Word, photo programs and Encarta. I can open files, cut and paste, and print. But what excites me most is learning about the world,” says Deili.
As she speaks, her father, Moises, stands behind her, grinning broadly. He and his wife are both illiterate. They know the hardships of poverty, and they want more for their kids. Many families in rural Guatemala keep their children—especially girls—home to help on the farm. But Moises is different. He sent all nine of his children to school, and intends to keep them there.When asked why he thinks education is so important, Moises explains, “One day I went to the bank to cash a check. The teller told me he couldn’t give me my money because I hadn’t signed [the check], but I didn’t know how. I was alone and no one would help me. At that moment I promised myself that I would never let any of my children suffer the same humiliation.”
Deili has big dreams. She wants to become a physician. She knows the computers will help her learn more about her chosen profession.
“If I could say one thing to the people who made this computer center possible,” Deili says, “it would be: thank you for giving us the opportunity to study computers and learn new things. May God bless you.”