You’re Making a Difference Here
In Guatemala, where 59% of the population lives below the poverty line, socioeconomic status is one of the biggest barriers to accessing quality education (World Bank 2018).
The average length of schooling for a Guatemalan child is only four years and 24% of the population is illiterate (US Aid 2014; World Bank 2014). This is one of the highest illiteracy rates in the Western Hemisphere.
Pencils of Promise works with 190 communities in Guatemala to ensure students overcome these, and other, barriers to accessing quality education. Currently, PoP is impacting over 38,000 students in Guatemala.
The region of Quiché, located northeast of PoP’s headquarters in Xela, is a mountainous and volcanic region in northwestern Guatemala.
To date, we’ve built over 105 schools in the region, providing quality infrastructure to ensure a safe and engaging learning environment.
ALDEA EL PALMAR
The over 2,000 members of the Aldea El Palmar community work in agriculture cultivating corn, beans and cardamom. Aldea El Palmar currently serves 243 students, spread throughout 8 classes.
Your Impact in Aldea El Palmar
At PoP, we strive towards a world in which every child can experience and benefit from quality education. Currently, in Aldea El Palmar, students are learning in a structurally unsound building. The previous school structure suffered damages due to landslides and earthquakes over the years. The school building was made up of rusting metal panels, crumbling stones and cracked floors. Students learned in classrooms that were divided by wooden panels in replace of walls, causing for distraction and an ineffective learning environment.
Due to the lack of proper infrastructure, the walls of the classroom did not meet with the ceilings, exposing students to weather conditions. Because of this, classrooms were often covered with cloth and drapes in efforts to protect the students from the environmental elements. These conditions clearly posed a hazard to student safety and well-being, as well as to engagement and learning.
We believe that a quality learning environment is critical to increasing student attendance, engagement and overall literacy outcomes.
PoP has partnered with the Aldea El Palmar community to build PoP’s first ever two-story school build, completed in July 2021! We are kicking off this project with the support of David Killian and Erin Murphy, who helped to build the first ever 2-story PoP school. This has provided students with 8 new classrooms and 3 new bathrooms! The community is devoted to providing a valuable education to its students, and contributed 20 percent of the resources and labor required for construction.
We establish partnerships with communities who are deeply committed to their children’s education. The support of the Aldea El Palmar community ensures the sustainability of the school that it will remain a quality learning environment for generations to come.
The inaguration of this school is planned for September 2021; we are excited to celebrate the extraordinary learning that will take place there!