We continue our 10th Anniversary celebration by sharing highlights from our support of educational programs, another of the core areas of Mission Guatemala.
Most of us take the opportunity to have access to a quality middle and high school education for granted, but here in Guatemala, the education that the government requires and readily provides ends at 6th grade. Because of this, while the level of elementary school enrollment across the population is generally very high, due to the limited access to public middle and high schools and the increased cost of attending a non-public school, up to half of Guatemalan youth who finish elementary school do not continue their education beyond the 6th grade!
Our "Becas con Misión" (Scholarships with a Mission) program helps provide an opportunity for students who have the determination and grades, but not the financial resources, to continue their education past the elementary level. Since our scholarship program began in 2015, it has provided 183 students the opportunity to continue their education beyond the sixth grade! And, in addition to simply helping to cover the costs of tuition and school supplies, the "Becas Con Misión" program has also been expanded to include educational workshops and field trips for the students to participate in together throughout the year. Because the students come from different communities in and around the San Andrés Semetabaj area, group activities like these not only foster a sense of community within the group, but also give our staff the opportunity to better know the students and their needs.
In addition to the scholarship program, Mission Guatemala’s educational initiatives include a computer lab at our mission space in San Andrés Semetabaj. The lab is a partnership between the public middle school in San Andrés and Mission Guatemala, and was established to provide affordable, quality computer training that was desperately needed when the only computer classes in town suddenly raised their prices several years ago.
These vital classes give the students a chance to develop the typing and computer skills that are required by the Guatemalan Department of Education to graduate from middle school, and at the same time, helps prepare students to enter the workforce, where many jobs require a basic understanding of computers and word processing.
Mission Guatemala has also provided sewing classes for students of all ages through our vocational training initiative. This training program lasts for 10 months, giving students the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills, ranging from the basic use and maintenance of sewing machines through the process of pattern-making and sewing of clothes, backpacks, and much more.
Throughout the years, Mission Guatemala has also had the opportunity to support the public schools and the educational system as a whole throughout the San Andrés Semetabaj area in a variety of ways, helping to ensure that the communities that we serve will have strong and able leaders in the years to come.
It is because of YOU that we are able to "do all the good we can" in providing educational initiatives in Guatemala! To see how you can be a part of the work we do, please visit missionguatemala.com/tenyears!
To see pictures from the past ten years, click here!