Children of Lake Atitlan
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Children of Lake Atitlan Gallery
​To view photos from the photo gallery, click on one of the photos in the gallery.  This will begin an enlarged slide show of the photos in the gallery, along with an explanation of each photo. 

             Hover over a photo to see its caption.

Photo Galleries
Special Video:

San Juan La Laguna Is Happy

(filmed and directed by Franklin "Kincho" Cholotio, graduate of the New Dawning Christian School)

The original adobe buildings were the entire school plant from 1991 until 2003.
Where there was only the side of a hill to play, the basketball court dwarfs the original adobe buildings.
The basketball court was begun in 2001.  The roof was added several years later.
Covering the basketball court made it a great place to have special programs, such as graduations.
The multi-purpose salon served as 3 classrooms for two years, until the second story of classrooms was completed.
The first 2 stories include 7 classrooms.  The third floor will house the library, a computer center, and another classroom.
These two rooms will house the pre-school class, which still meets in the adobe classrooms, and the administrative office.
The playground equipment donation was a special treat for the children of the school.
When complete, the school library and the computer center will add a whole new dimension to education at the school.
The New Dawning Christian School

Take a tour by way of a slideshow...

A shy fifth grader from a nearby village, Carlos was told by his parents that he would not be able to study in the school this year, due to financial restraints.  They sent him off to a local school, only to find that he was walking the three miles to continue in the school he loves.  Thanks to a sponsor, his transportation is being paid, and his parents are pleased to have him continuing in our school.
October 2022
Graduation!  Kindergarten, Primary and Middle School.  45 happy graduates.

End of classes for the 
     2021 school year.
Graduation for kinders
     and sixth grade.

Mom makes final adjustments to a cap and gown...first graduation must be perfect!
Mams wait proudly for the beginning of the ceremonies.
The stage is set, and the families are arriving for this special day.  16 kinders and 22 six graders are ready!
Administrative Director of the New Dawning Christian School Francisco Perez and Primary Director Lucas Quiacain await the beginning of the ceremonies.
Sixth grade students await the beginning of their final primary level activity.
Kindergarten students wait for their name to be called before taking their place in the graduation ceremony...the first of their educational career.
The court was filled with family in friends, practicing social distancing even on this special day.
As all over the world, family and friends await the egress of each child at the end of the ceremonies, greeting them with photos and hugs.
Kinders await the final class photo, surrounded by celebratory balloons.
And it's final.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet next year's first grade class!
We are thankful for our pre-school and elementary teachers, for their tireless work throughout this sometimes difficult year.
End of classes for the 2021 school year.  Graduation for Basico students (Middle School, grade 9.)
Students who had the highest academic average have the honor of carrying the flags.
Graduating 9th grader receives her diploma from the school administrator, Francisco Perez Mendoza.
Henry signs the Book of Life, a tradition for each class that graduates from the school.
Students wait for their name to be called to receive their diploma, well deserved after studying for two years with covid19 as a classmate.
Another tradition is the passing of the flags from the graduates to the students who will graduate next year.  Here, Mynor, valedictorian of the 8th grade class, holds the Guatemalan flag, which he has just accepted.
What could be better than a graduation photo with your mom?
Family and friends make graduation even more special.
After three years in which the form of education changed from week to week, these students persevered, and now they have their reward.
January 2022
Inauguration of the new school year
Primary students start their school year on January 17 in the morning, along with their parents.
After learning about the new school year and the form that it will take, students and parents enjoyed a chuchito and a drink before heading to their first classes.
Our new kiondergarten students faces their first day with anticipation, after spending most of their pre-school year in at-home classes.  For them, being at school is almost new!
Basico classes begin in the afternoon of the same day, January 17.  After almost a year of virtual classes, the students are thrilled to once again be at school with their classmates.

One of our beloved students,
Roberto Ponce, lost his fight
with leukemia in January.  His 
loving spirit will be missed.
The group donated 10 stoves to needy families, who still use wood-burning stoves for cooking.  These stoves use very little wood and heat quickly, making a huge economic difference for the family.
200 food packages were prepared for families living in the poorer villages in the mountains above San Juan La Laguna.  These packages were distributed through churches in those villages.
People in the churches made contact with 100 families in each of 2 villages, and distribution was done by the members of the churches.  Most families were not affiliated with the churches...a true community project.
At the school, the group added the first paint to the rooms on the third floor, which will house the school library, computer center, and an additional classroom.
They also donated funds for the installation of railings for the third floor, which will make the rooms immediately usable.  Funds will also help cover the cost of tile for the floors.
June 2022
Our first work group in three 
years--from West Virginia--
spent 10 amazing days with us.
Primary aged students celebrated a special program of praise, coordinated by staff, but carried out by students.
Juan shares a short talk with the students.  The sign in the back says "I will bless the Lord at all times."
The students appreciated that the assembly was driven by the participation of students.
Even the music was lead by students, accompanied by ukulele.
May 2022
A day of celebration, 
July 2022
The school celebrates its
32nd anniversary
Several boys from the Basico level practiced to form a band that played in the parade to bring the new and former school princess to the investiture ceremony of the new princess culminating the 32nd anniversary celebration.
A perk of bringing the princess to the celebration is that her family traditionally provides a small meal to those who come.  In this instance...traditional tamales!
And the princess of the New Dawning Christian School for 2022 is Jessica, a bright 5th grader who lives in San Pablo La Laguna, a neighboring village of San Juan La Laguna.
The delegation was accompanied by family and friends, and the band, and were led by students carrying the banners of the school.
The outgoing Princess and Miss Sports enjoyed their last walk as representatives of the school, a parade through the streets of the town.
fhe final evening of the anniversary is filled with tradition and formality, and was attended by an overflow crowd, who were excited to be able to celebrate for the first time since the covid outbreak in 2019.
Enjoy these photos of the children enjoying Day of the Child.  They were able to take a break from academics and spend the morning socializing with their classmates and teachers.
September 2022
Day of the Child was celebrated in 
Guatemala at the end of
September. It was a special
day of interaction at the school.
Basico (Middle school) students are presented at the Accion de Gracias, held a couple of days before the graduation ceremonies.
All of the graduates from Kindergarten, Primary and Basico are presented two days before the Kindergarten and Primary graduation ceremonies.
The stage is set for the Basico graduation, held on October 31.
Sixth grade graduates looking very formal, very proud.
For our Kindergarten graduates, this is a new experience.  The cap and gown for the littlest ones are a school tradition.
Another Guatemala tradition is for the now graduated students to pass through an arch created by the flags of the country and the school.
Family photos are a lasting memory of the day.
The school not only has students from San Juan, but also from other nearby communities.  Here, we have families from the village of San Pablo La Laguna, who choose to send their children to our school.