Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26th was a big day for graduations here with several Institutos holding graduations. An Instituto is the equivalent of a high school in the United States, and graduates receive a bachilerato, a coveted degree that is required for entering the police or the army and for most civil service jobs. A bachilerato is also necessary for those wanting to go to the university, of course.
I went to the Instituto Los Almendros, about 20 minutes west of Suchitoto on the road to Aguilares, to see Moises graduate. About 8 years ago, PazSalud's medical clinic was held at the La Mora clinic, and Moises, then about 11, was examined and found to have serious heart valve deficiencies. The doctor who examined him sent replacement heart valves to the Bloom Children's Hospital in San Salvador, where Moises got life-saving surgery. Since then Moises' PeaceHealth doctor has provided the medication he needs to take every day, something that his family would not be able to afford.
So PeaceHealth has a stake in this young man's graduation, and he looked great and was very happy (though you might not be able to tell that from the photo - all Salvadorans tend to adopt a poker face when a camera is pointed at them, and I forgot to go through my "say queso" routine). In the top photo, Moises' mother Reina - who is, I'm sure, the real reason this young man is living and graduating - stands with her son and the fellow student he escorted. In the bottom photo, Moises stands with his family at home - with the blue and white balloons (the national colors) and a huge congratulations sign. Felicidades, Moises, que su futuro sea luminoso - Congratuations, Moises, may your future be bright!