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, the school in Caserío Palilíc, Aldea Chuachinup lacked a formal infrastructure. The school was overcrowded, as there were only two classrooms shared by six grades. Students in first, second and third grade learned in a classroom without walls, and students in fourth, fifth and sixth grade attended class in a room with makeshift walls. In addition to the overcrowding issues, the previous school had no proper bathrooms or water treatment system, leaving the students prone to illness and susceptible to sick days. 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 Caserío Palilíc, Aldea Chuachinup community build a new, three-classroom school. The new structure will be equipped with updated bathrooms and a proper handwashing station. Teachers, parents and community members were 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 Caserío Palilíc, Aldea Chuachinup are so excited to now have a school that will provide a quality and safe learning environment!