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 four years and 24.1% of the population is illiterate (US Aid 2014; World Bank 2014).
Pencils of Promise works with 190 communities in Guatemala to ensure our students overcome these, and other, barriers to accessing a quality education. Currently, PoP is impacting over 37,000 students in Guatemala.
The region of Suchitepéquez, called Suchi by locals, lies southeast of our headquarters in Xela. PoP expanded here in early 2012, with our regional office located in Mazatenango.
Suchitepéquez offers a variety of exotic fruits and coffee as main crops, and the climate is much more tropical than the other regions in which we work. To date, we’ve broken ground on 47 schools in Suchitepéquez and plan to continue our partnership with these communities for years to come.
Before a PoP School Build
Previously, students in Cantón Las Varitas were learning in overcrowded conditions. With limited space, the school had few formal classroom structures and was prone to flooding. Teachers resorted to using the school’s kitchen as a classroom, and other rooms were separated by makeshift walls. These conditions posed a hazard to student safety and well-being, as well as to engagement and learning.
Your Impact with the New PoP School
You’ve recognized that these conditions are not conducive to learning and have responded by helping PoP and the Cantón Las Varitas community complete a new four-classroom school. These additional classrooms will help with overcrowding and will serve second, third, fourth and fifth grade students. Teachers, parents and community members remained dedicated and committed to the project and contributed 20 percent of the resources and labor necessary to complete the build. The students and community of Cantón Las Varitas are so excited to now have a new school that will provide a quality learning environment!