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.
The 148 members of the Cantón Xolacul community work in agriculture cultivating corn, beans and cardamom. Cantón Xolacul currently serves 56 students, spread throughout 8 classes.
The Schaeffer Family’s Impact in Cantón Xolacul
At PoP, we strive toward a world in which every child can experience and benefit from quality education. Previously, the Cantón Xolacul community rented spaces in private homes to provide 50 students with disabilities to an access to education. This was not only costly, but also an ineffective and unsuitable learning environment. The community is passionate and excited to have a new and safe school structure that provides an environment that enables students to thrive academically, emotionally and socially.
We believe that a quality learning environment is critical to increasing student attendance, engagement and overall literacy outcomes.
A school build is only the start of a transformative education experience, and we are excited to get going. We have successfully completed the structure in December of 2019.
PoP partnered with the Cantón Xolacul community to build 3 new classroom block accompanied with 4 new WASH stations. This is the first school for special needs students in the Nebaj area! 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 Cantón Xolacul community ensures the sustainability of the school that it will remain a quality learning environment for generations to come.
After months of hard work, the community came together to inaugurate the new school and celebrate the extraordinary learning that will take place there!