You’re Making a Difference Here
In Guatemala, where over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line, socioeconomic status is one of the biggest barriers to accessing a quality education (World Bank 2013). The average length of schooling for a Guatemalan child is only 4 years and 24.1% of the population is illiterate (US Aid 2014; World Bank 2014).
Pencils of Promise works with 168 communities in Guatemala to ensure our students overcome these, and other, barriers to accessing a quality education. To date, PoP has impacted over 221,000 lives in Guatemala.
Quiché is a mountainous region located in northwestern Guatemala. PoP’s base in Quiché is in the city of Nebaj, which is about five hours northeast of our Guatemala headquarters in Xela.
To date, we’ve built over 70 schools in the region and plan to continue to scale our builds, along with teacher training workshops, across Quiché.
Before the PoP School Build
Previously, students in the Aldea Tamborcito Chiguatal community were without a formal school. There used to be a provisional, primary school structure in the community, but it was destroyed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. After the storm, a neighboring community provided temporary classrooms for students in Aldea Tamborcito to use. The rooms were intended to be temporary, but students continued to attend school in the structure until late 2016. The structure was made of styrofoam and other non-durable materials and was dilapidated. The walls were decaying and had gaping holes in them, which exposed students to the elements and allowed noise to drift easily in between the rooms. Despite these conditions, Aldea Tamborcito Chiguatal’s teachers remained committed to students’ education.
Your Impact with the New PoP School
You recognized that these conditions were not conducive to learning and responded by helping PoP and the Aldea Tamborcito Chiguatal community break ground on a new two-classroom school. Teachers, parents and community members remained dedicated and committed to the project throughout the entire build, and contributed 20 percent of resources and labor required for its completion. This new school building, which the community completed and inaugurated in April of 2017, allows for dedicated classrooms for primary grades, relieving the teachers and students of the overcrowding issue and enabling the growth and development for all students.