Contribute to Ana Fabiola Sutuj Aguilar's Education Account

NEW:  Sept. 2008: Major update on the related La Pedrera project - see Wayne Hess's La Pedrera School Project (LPSP) - a 501(c)3 non-profit supporting education of similar students.  This is the project where I met Ana.

Here is an updated photo, Feb. 2008, showing Ana (center, white uniform) with her nursing colleagues.

Ana Fabiola Sutuj Aguilar is a brilliant student in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, whom we have assisted financially in the past. 
Here is a picture of Ana taken in April 2001.

ana_fabiola_sutuj_aguilar_4-01-corrected.jpg (41881 bytes).  Ana is shown here in July 2001, with her mother Gumercinda, and her father, Ismael Sutuj Lòpez.  ana-w-parents_gumercinda_ismael.jpg (65423 bytes)  Ana will be 22 years of age on June 27, 2004.  Her address is 10a. Calle 0-15, Zona 4. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, Central America (postal service does not function at this address)..

We (Mike & Heidi Baird)  have been sponsoring Ana since 1996 at a nominal financial level.  As of January 2002 Ana was attempting to enter University San Carlos de Guatemala, extensión Quetzaltenango, (also called CUNOC for Centro Universitario del Occidente (Quetzaltenango)) to study medicine, and will require substantial financial support to achieve her goal of becoming a medical doctor.   She had some difficulty being admitted to study to become a doctor, but she was approved to study to be a nurse. On 21 Feb. 2003. Ana enrolled in Escuela Nacional de Enfermeras de Occidente avalada por la Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala (National University of Nurses of the West, affiliated with the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City).  This is a goal attainable by Ana, due to her keen ambition and strong intellect.  It is, however, a goal seldom if ever achieved by an Indigenous child growing up in the barrio of La Pedrera in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala guat-map.jpg (94607 bytes) (map).  

You can contact Ana Fabiola Sutuj Aguilar by e-mail at anysugui@[remove], as she opportunistically and enterprisingly finds occasional Internet access at several Spanish language schools or in Internet cafes in Quetzaltenango.  

I have published information about Ana in several places:
(a)  (general)
(b)  (1996)
(c)  (1997)
(d)  (2001)
(e)  (general)
(f) (newsletter article about my meeting Ana in 1996)

One way you can help Ana is to wire funds into her special educational bank account.  Elizabeth Jenner globalogical@[remove] and I (Mike Baird) opened this account in person in Quetzaltenango, in July 2001. Elizabeth was the Director, Internship and Volunteers, of Program Casa Xelaju (see ) that in part served as an administrator for funneling financial aid to Ana and about 60 other children as part of Project La Pedrera  See also for a forum of La Pedrera sponsors and stakeholders. More information about Elizabeth's noble social work activities in Guatemala can be found at, where she is the most active and a founding organizer of project Pasac Segundo.

Here is a photo I took of Elizabeth with Ana outside Quetzaltenango in July 2001. elizabeth-and-ana-at-pedrera-celebration.jpg (96494 bytes)

Ana's account typically has about $400 US to $1,200 US wired to it every year by me in the first quarter of the calendar year.  Ana should, however, consume about three thousand US dollars per calendar year to properly undertake her University studies.  Lacking full financial support, Ana (as of March 2002) was supplementing her financial situation as best as she could by working in a library. filing books for 600Q's a month (about $ 75.50 in US Dollars), or by doing other odd jobs when available. Unemployment in Guatemala is terrible, and exploitation in the job market of the Indigenous population in particular, is often shocking.  Project La Pedrera, through which Ana previously received the financial aid directed toward her, is not structured to support full-time University students at this financial level.  Ana's only sources of funds are whatever donations we can make here, and what little she can earn.

Information for "How to wire money to Ana Fabiola Sutuj Aguilar's bank account" is reproduced below:
(sending a wire typically costs about $40 - $50)
Banco de Occidente
4 Ta calle 11-38 zona 01, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (Central America)
ABA S455BOGU (Transfer Code) (No. de Abac.)
Account holder: Gumercinda Aguilar (Name on account --Nombre de la Cuenta) [This is Ana's mother]
Address of Account holder: 10a. Calle 0-15, Zona 4. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, Central America.
Bank Account Number 0000623231 (Number of account -- No. de Cuenta)

Contributors to Ana's account will get occasional reports from myself and/or Ana via e-mail, and this web page, as to approximately how funds are used and when.
Communications are difficult, and vary in frequency and depth.

If you are interested in contributing to Ana's Educational Account, please follow the above wiring instructions, and let me, Mike Baird, know by e-mail mike@[remove] or phone (805) 704-2064.  I would be delighted to recognize your contribution on this web page.  If wiring funds directly is not practicable for you, I can facilitate the transfer of funds by combining your amounts with mine and others when I make wire transfers once or twice a year (usually in Jan-March).  Checks can be made payable and sent to Mike Baird, (make note: for Ana Sutuj educational account) 2756 Indigo Circle, Moro Bay, CA  93442.  (805) 704-2064.

Here is a story I submitted to Wayne Hess for publication: 18 Sept 2010

Ana Fabiola Sutuj Aguilar of Guatemala by Mike Baird (Rev. 18a Sept 2010)

My first trip to Guatemala was in 1996 with my brother Jim Baird and his son Corey.  The center of our trip was a great Spanish language school "Casa de Espanol Xelaju" in Quetzaltenango - known as CEX    CEX created the community project “La Pedrera,” which in 2008, with the efforts of Wayne Hess, the La Pedrera School Project was granted 501(c)(3) status by the US government, making donations tax deductible for the first time.  It was from the many La Pedrera students who came to CEX for free afternoon tutorials in 1996 that I met the 14 year old gifted child Ana, whom we ended up sponsoring in a significant way over the next ten years until she became, at age 24, independent, and a certified nurse in 2006.  

Ana came to my attention one afternoon in CEX, when, after I finished teaching several attention-deprived little boys their multiplication tables, from a third table, a bold and confident Miss Ana Fabiola Sutuj, 14, approached me. "Are you a teacher? Do you know advanced math? Can you teach me things about time-value-of-money, capital, interest, etc." I said I was not a teacher, but an engineer but I certainly knew of these things, and would be glad to try to teach her.  The next day, as the tutorial hour was ending, I asked her if she was tired.  "Not yet we still have five minutes to go!"  She wanted every opportunity, every minute, every chance to succeed.  She asked for one-on-one teaching from me every day thereafter in math and English.  Ana's enthusiasm, intelligence, and amiable personality clearly touched my heart.  We had dinner together twice with some other students and teachers at a nearby restaurant (a real treat for the kids), and I was privileged to soon met her proud parents and to be invited into her house on several occasions.  I guess you could say that we bonded.

Ana became my exclusive sponsored student since that day.  Upon sponsoring her through the La Pedrera project for a few hundred dollars a year,  Ana soon became what was commonly called my adijada, or godchild.   I visited her a number of times during the next ten years, and set up a bank account to deposit funds for her education that went an order of magnitude beyond the scope of the La Pedrera program.  One way we funded Ana’s account was that I did a lot of computer repair work for my affluent Friends here in the States, who offered to pay me for my time, and I asked instead that they please make a contribution to Ana’s educational fund.  Without these funds to buy uniforms, books, supplies, transportation, and many basic necessities of life, Ana would not have been able to go to the more elite “mestizo/white school” in Quetzaltenango, as opposed to her indigenous alternative.  Much like the first poor black lower class black students entering US colleges in the 1960’s, Ana encountered lots of discrimination and derision. I remember once when she demonstrated to the other better-off students her new electronic dictionary that I had given her, for a moment she felt more of an equal among peers.  Ana continued to grow, and went on the become a certified nurse (she initially had aspirations to be a medical doctor), and is now an independent, educated, proud and successful young lady making her own way in life.  Due to our attention, Ana was the only child to have a computer in her home in her barrio - in fact it was probably the only home with a computer at the time.  So, through emotional, financial, and logistical encouragement, Ana found success with a little help from others who loved her.

In 1997 I brought my daughter Sandy to Guatemala for two weeks, and I arranged to take Sandy, Ana, and a chaperon  on a country-wide tour of most of Guatemala.  Accompanying us on this voyage was Heidi Dauberman Aguilar, at the time, the very special and dedicated coordinator of the La Pedrera project.  Having secured a written authorization from Ana’s family, the three of us then visited Quetzaltenango, Panajachel, Lago Atitlan, Santiago Atitlan, San Lucas, Tecpan, Antigua, Tikal and Guatemala City.  It was interesting to see the maturing Ana flying on an airplane to Tikal with the confidence of any worldly business traveler.

In January 2002 Ana was attempting to enter University San Carlos de Guatemala, extensión Quetzaltenango, (also called CUNOC for Centro Universitario del Occidente (Quetzaltenango)) to study medicine, and required substantial financial support to achieve her goal of becoming a medical doctor.   She had some difficulty being admitted to study to become a doctor, but she was approved to study to be a nurse. On 21 Feb. 2003, Ana enrolled in Escuela Nacional de Enfermeras de Occidente avalada por la Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala (National University of Nurses of the West, affiliated with the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City).  She later graduated, and now has a career working throughout the country as a nurse.

Whether I benefited Ana’s life as much as she mine would up for debate.  Ana’s story is extensively documented starting at
photo L-R Ana’s Father Ismael Sutuj Lòpez, Ana’s Mother Gumercinda Aguilar, my daughter Sandy Baird in indigenous dress, and Ana (Fabiola) Sutuj Aguilar
(photo of mike Baird studying with Ana Fabiola Sutuj Aguilar )

photo of Ana (front, center) in 2008 in her nursing uniform
(photo of Ana’s family )

photo of Ana Fabiola Sutuj Aguilar sitting between her father Father Ismael Sutuj Lòpez, and her mother Gumercinda Aguilar in their modest home.
(photo of Ana Fabiola Sutuj Aguilar sitting between her father Father Ismael Sutuj Lòpez, and her mother Gumercinda Aguilar in their modest home. )

photo of Ana’s family
(photo L-R Ana’s Father Ismael Sutuj Lòpez, Ana’s Mother Gumercinda Aguilar, my daughter Sandy Baird in indigenous dress, and Ana (Fabiola) Sutuj Aguilar )

photo of mike Baird studying with Ana Fabiola Sutuj Aguilar
(photo of Ana (front, center) in 2008 in her nursing uniform )






Past Contributors:

Thanks to Curt & Sandra Beebe of Morro Bay, CA, for contributing $100 US to Ana's account Feb. 2003 . (sent 4-1-2003)
Thanks to Bill and Nancy Biller of Downey, CA, for contributing $50 US to Ana's account March. 2003 . (sent 1-23-04)
Thanks to Rod and Marlene Williams of Morro Bay, CA, for contributing $500 to Ana's account May 2003 (sent 1-23-04)
Thanks to Fred and Bev Powell of Morro Bay, CA for contributing $100 to Ana's account April 21,  2004  ( sent April 6, 2005)
 Thanks to Fred and Bev Powell of Morro Bay, CA for contributing $25 to Ana's account October 14,  2004 ( sent April 6, 2005)


Thanks to Norma and Peter Wightman of Morro Bay, CA for contributing $50 to Ana's account April 28, 2005 (yet to be sent; $50 wire fee)
Below are reproductions of some [annotated/translated] select correspondences to/from Ana -- these are rendered in reverse chronological order.

6-19-07 (this e-mail to anysugui at bounced) ¡Feliz cumpleaños Ana!  ¡Ya tienes 25!  Espero que tú y tu familia estén bien.  ¿Cómo va tu carrera del oficio de enfermera?  ¡Que tengas buena suerte!   Con mucho cariño.  Mike

2-13-07 Ana does reply!
Hola.  Como esta?  Le escribo para desearle un feliz dìa de San Valentìn.  GRACIAS POR SU AMISTAD DE TODOS ESTOS AÑOS.  Espero me pueda escribir cuando pueda.  Cada vez que pienso en usted en mi corazon sigue teniendo esa fuerza para vivir.  FELIZ DIA DE LA AMITAD Con mucho aprecio.  Anita

12-25-06 An Xmas e-mail to Ana bounces again - but this time it sounds like a permanent error, as "sysadmin says: The following recipient(s) could not be reached: anysugui[at] on 12/26/2006 2:18 AM - The e-mail account does not exist at the organization this message was sent to."  I hope Ana eventually reads her page here and replies... I said: "You represent hope in my life -- Representas esperanza en mi vida.  You worked hard to realize a better life -- Trabajaste difícilmente para realizar una vida mejor.   A life filled with respect, feeling good about oneself -- Una vida llenó del respecto, sintiéndose bien sobre se,  and happy for the hard decisions along the way that helped make you what You are. -- y feliz para las decisiones duras a lo largo de la manera que ayudó a hacerte cuál eres.  You are a beautiful, intelligent, independent, professional woman... no longer a child, but an adult, and a leader of others now. --  Eres una mujer hermosa, inteligente, independiente, profesional… no más un niño, pero un adulto, y un líder de otros ahora.  Your humor, honesty, integrity, and amiable personality have molded you into the perfect specimen - a beautiful, intelligent, independent, professional woman... -- Tu humor, honradez, integridad, y personalidad amable te han moldeado en el espécimen perfecto - mujer hermosa, inteligente, independiente, profesional…  I know that you are very busy -- Sé que estás muy ocupado.   If you could send me an e-mail once every few months, I would still like that. Si podrías enviarme un E-mail una vez cada pocos meses, quisiera eso.  If you could e-mail a photo of yourself, you Mother and Father and your house, that would be perfect gift someday. -- Si podrías E-mail una foto de se, sirves de madre y el padre y tu casa, que serían regalo perfecto algún día."  Con mucho cariño. 
Mike Baird mike[at] - My photos, see,;  Morro Bay, CA
"Hurt not the earth, neither the sea nor the trees" (“Lastimar no la tierra, ni el mar ni los árboles”)

8-4-06 Ana says in an e-mail from anysugui@[remove]
(translated) Hello, How are you? Excuse me for not writing. I saw your letter. I thank you much for all these years of their help and support. Really THANK YOU!!! I Now am working in a Hospital . Soon I will go to the Huehuetenango to carry out part of my administrative practice in the Center of Health. I know pretty well several places of my country to which I never planned to go and mainly know the social reality and of health in which other people live - and I contribute to improve their quality of life through the benefit of a minimum service but to which all are entitled. Yes, this year I am already 24 years old and am happy because you are part of my history of life, a part that guides me and helps me to have a vision different from the world and of the people. Also all those people that I [have known] since attending the School of Xelajù Spanish contributed with me to change that part of my life that I thought only had one direction, and that I now realize that I am free to make my own decisions in order to improve. I thank you for all your help and I hope to continue having your friendship!!!  With affection, Ana Sutuj Aguilar

Hola, como esta?  disculpe por no escribir.
Vi su
carta. Le agradezco mucho por todos estos años de su ayuda y apoyo...
de verdad MUCHAS GRACIAS!!! Ahora estoy trabajando en un Hospital pronto
ire al huehuetenango a realizar parte de mis pràctica administrativa en el Centro de Salud, es muy bonito conocer varios lugares de mi pais a los que nunca pense ir y sobre todo conocer la realidad social y de salud en que viven otras personas y contribuir a mejorar su calidad de vida a traves de la prestaciòn de un servicio minimo pero al que todos tenemos derecho. 
Si este año yo ya tengo 24 años y estoy feliz porque Ud es parte de mi historia de vida, una parte que me guio y me ayudo a tener una visiòn diferente del mundo y de las personas. Tambien todas aquellas personas que desde que asisti a la Escuela de Español Xelajù contribuyeron conmigo a cambiar esa parte de mi vida que pense solo tenìa una direcciòn y que ahora me doy cuenta que soy libre de tomar mis propias decisiones para mejorarla.  Le agradezco toda su ayuda y espero seguir contando con su amistad!!!  Con Cariño,  Ana Sutuj Aguilar 

My 8-4-06 reply:
Ana, I am so proud of you.  You are an amazingly talented and gifted friend.  Please continue to write to me to let me know all about your life.  You are a true success story!  I hope you parents are well.  With much affection.

¡Ana, soy tan orgulloso de usted!  Tu es una amiga increiblemente talentoso.  Continuar por favor escribiéndome dejarme saber todos sobre tu vida.   Eres una historia verdadera del éxito.  Espero que tus padres estés bien.   Con mucho Cariño.
Mike Baird

6-1-06 Ana's e-mail bounces - anysugui@[remove] 550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable (may be full?) (last communication was ~7-14-05, $500 sent 4-9-05).

Ana, I am sorry it has been so long since I wrote to you.  I hope you and your family are doing well and that you are healthy.  You will soon be 24 years of age this 27th of June 2006... amazing!  I have enjoyed seeing you mature and develop your nursing career.  I am very proud of you.  This year I am going to cease my annual contributions to your bank account, as it is time for you to be on your own now.  I will always think of you fondly, and hope to hear from you regularly.
Ana, Lo siento que hace mucho tiempo yo te escribió.  Espero que tú y tu familia estén haciendo bien y eso eres sano.  ¡Pronto serás 24 años de la edad estos el 27 de junio 2006… que sorprende!  He gozado el ver de ti madurar y desarrollar tu carrera del oficio de enfermera.  Soy muy orgulloso de ti.  Este año voy a cesar mis contribuciones anuales a tu cuenta bancaria, pues ahora es hora para ti de estar en tus el propios.  Pensaré siempre en ti encariñado, y esperanza oír de ti regularmente.

¡Que tengas buena suerte! Con mucho cariño...
Mike  mike at mikebaird dot com

4-28-04 Ana's Letter to Mike Baird

Ya recibi el dinero y he tomado Q1700.00 para gastos en mis estudios. Ya termine la parte teorica del III semestre y mis notas fueron en Microbiologìa 80 puntos, Enfermerìa 78 puntos, Tècnicas 76 y en Bioestadistica 78, este martes comence a viajar al Hospital Nacional de Retalhulehu para hacer la parte pràctica del III semestre. Espero que no este molesto conmigo pero casi no tengo tiempo porque siempre estoy viajando y tengo tantas tareas pero prometo escribirle un poquito cuando pueda.
Gracias por su apoyo!!!
Lo estraño mucho

**** translated into English ****

I received the money [referring to the $1050 US Dollars sent 1-22-04] and I now  have taken out Q1700.00 [about $212.38 US Dollars] for expenses in my studies. I have already finished the theoretical part of the III semester and my grades were: in Microbiology 80 points, Nursing 78 points, Techniques 76 and in Biostatistics 78.  This Tuesday I began to travel to the National Hospital of Retalhulehu in order to do the (field practice) part required of the III semester.  I hope that you are not upset with me, but I hardly have the time [to write] because I am always traveling and I have so much homework to do -- but I promise to write you a little bit when I am able to. 
Thank you for your support!!!
I miss you very much

2-15-04.. just heard from Anita
From: Ana Aguilar [mailto:anysugui@[remove]]
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2004 3:14 PM
To: mike@[remove]
Subject: de anita..
Hola Padrino.

Perdon por no escribir por mucho tiempo, comprendo porque esta enojado. No estoy haciendo mal uso del dinero que me envia. Adjunto una certificaciòn de estudio del año pasado para que vea la nota de cada curso y tambièn el promedio que es de 84 puntos. Llevo dos semanas ya en la escuela. Agradezco mucho a usted y a las personas que me enviaron el dinero. Es de mucha ayuda. Espero no decepcionarlo. Anita.
(Ana's recent grades - click to enlarge)
***** machine translation rough ***
Pardon for not writing for much time, I understand because this angry. It is not making use of the money that sends me bad. Associate a [certificaciòn] of study of last year so that I see the note of each course and [tambièn] the average that is of 84 points. I have been two weeks already in the school. I thank for much to you and to the people who sent me the money. He is of much help. I hope to don't disappoint it. Anita.

If you are interested in sponsoring your own child at the primary, middle, vocational or university level, you can do so for about $240 - $400 a year.  See and for more information.  revised 02/08/2008