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 168 communities in Guatemala to ensure our students overcome these, and other, barriers to accessing a quality education. To date, PoP has impacted over 35,000 students 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 101 schools in the region and plan to continue to scale our builds, along with educational programming, across Quiché.
Before the PoP School Build
Previously, the primary students of Comunidad Samutz Sacrabinak attended classes in an aging, preexisting structure made of deteriorating brick. The structure was in disrepair: with cracked walls, no windows and a foundation that was only 20 centimeters deep. Structure aside, the classrooms were split among the primary grades, meaning that teachers were educating multiple grades simultaneously. These problems posed a hinderance to student engagement and learning.
Your Impact with the New PoP School
You recognized that these conditions were not conducive to learning and responded by helping PoP and the Comunidad Samutz Sacrabinak community build a new four-classroom school. Teachers, parents and community members remained dedicated to the project, with community members contributing up to 20 percent of the resources and labor necessary to complete the build. This build, which the community completed in the summer of 2017, is providing 85 Comunidad Samutz Sacrabinak students in grades 1 – 6 with new classrooms and access to a higher quality education. The new classrooms spaces are not only structurally sound, but also relieve the teachers and students of the overcrowding issue to enable positive growth and development for all students.