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 170 communities in Guatemala to ensure our students overcome these, and other, barriers to accessing a quality education. To date, PoP has impacted over 221,819 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 plan to continue to scale our builds, along with teacher training workshops, across PoP schools in the region.
Before a PoP School Build
Previously, the students of the El Pochal Preschool and Primary School had no access to formal, dedicated classrooms. The spaces that were used as classrooms included two provisional rooms made of wood, corrugated metal and wire netting. One of these classrooms was also used as a kitchen, which meant that the room filled with smoke during lessons. The other room had no formal walls or windows, leaving students exposed to the elements as well as outside distractions. Lastly, the roof that covered the students during lessons was in poor condition due the plaster material and the heavy rains experienced in the zone.
Your Impact with a New PoP School
The Foundation recognized that these conditions were not conducive to learning and responded by helping PoP and the Sector El Pochal Aldea Belén community break ground on a new two-classroom school. The community members, parents, and teachers fully supported the project throughout the entire process, and contributed 20 percent of the labor and resources necessary to complete the build. Today, all students of the El Pochal school attend classes in formal spaces complete with constructed floors, windows and roofs, in addition to white boards, classroom furniture and desks for the teachers, ensuring the growth and development of the students and teachers in the community.