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 attended class in overcrowded conditions. The school had few formal classroom structures with limited space. Because of the large student population, the school resorted to using its kitchen as a classroom, with other classrooms separated by makeshift walls. In addition, the previous school’s structure was in poor condition and prone to flooding. These conditions posed a hazard to student safety and wellbeing, 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 serve second, third, fourth and fifth grade students. Teachers, parents and community members were dedicated and committed to the project, and contributed 20 percent of resources and labor necessary to complete the build. The entire Cantón Las Varitas community is so excited to now have access to a new school that provides a quality learning environment to students and teachers alike.