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 over 173 communities in Guatemala to ensure our students overcome these, and other, barriers to accessing a quality education. To date, PoP has impacted over 222,000 lives in Guatemala.
BOCA COSTA REGION
The region of Boca Costa, located southeast of PoP’s Guatemala headquarters in Xela, is home to a more tropical climate than any of the other regions in Guatemala in which we work. PoP expanded to Boca Costa in early 2012, with our regional office located in Santo Tomás La Unión.
To date, we’ve built 80 schools in the region and in many schools have coupled school builds with our WASH infrastructure and programming, along with teacher training workshops.
Before a PoP School Build
Previously, all students at the Comunidad Agraria las Tres Marias Preschool and Primary School attended class in just 2 small classrooms, both in very poor condition. One of the structures was made of wood and block and served as the classroom for the community’s kindergarten students, while the other completely wooden classroom served as the learning space for the remaining primary school students. The lack of formal classroom spaces created a distracting learning environment for the students, which when paired with the issue of overcrowding, lead to an overall lack of student engagement and growth.
Your Impact with a New PoP School
You recognized that these conditions were not conducive to learning and responded by helping PoP and the Comunidad Agraria las Tres Marias community complete construction of a new 2-classroom school. The Comunidad Agraria las Tres Marias community members, parents and teachers supported the project fully throughout construction and are dedicated to maintaining that same level of involvement in the upkeep of the newly finished school. The new school was fitted with 16 new triangular desks for the kindergarten students, 41 desks for the 1st-5th graders, 2 new whiteboards and 2 new teacher desks. In addition to the new school structure being made possible through your donation, the Comunidad Agraria las Tres Marias community now has access to 3 new latrines and a hand-washing station thanks to the support of additional PoP donors. This access to proper restrooms and washing stations will significantly improve hygiene habits among the students and further foster an environment of educational growth and promise for the students of Comunidad Agraria las Tres Marias.