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 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.
COMUNIDAD AGRARIA LA LADRILLERA
The over 7,200 members of the Agraria La Ladrillera community work in agriculture cultivating corn, beans and cardamom. The existing structure currently serves 332 students, spread throughout eight classes.
Mark’s Impact in Comunidad Agraria La Ladrillera
At PoP, we strive toward a world in which every child can experience and benefit from quality education.
This community has made education a priority since 1946, the Agraria La Ladrillera community began to conduct school in the farm’s office, which was made of wood and corrugated metal sheet. At that time, only 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th were attending. Since then, the community has expanded to have a designated school with 16 classrooms. Previously in Comunidad Agraria La Ladrillera, students were learning in a structurally unsound building. 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.
A school build is only the start of a transformative education experience and we are excited to have worked with the Agraria La Ladrillera community to build two new classrooms and renovate some of the existing ones! 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 Agraria La Ladrillera community ensures the sustainability of the school that it will remain a quality learning environment for generations to come.