December Update – It’s been a good year!

December 14, 2014

Dear friends,

As we come closer to the end of the year, we can look back with some satisfaction at the achievements reached in the school we are supporting in the community of El Triunfo in Guatemala.

The school provides an affordable education from grades seven to twelve for the children from several villages who probably would not have the opportunity to pursue their studies otherwise.

Over the past twelve months, we’ve seen

–          the graduation of the first grade 12 class;

–          the completion of an expansion  which allows each grade in the school from grade one to twelve to have their own classroom; and,

–          participation of four teachers in  a weeklong  training workshop in Nicaragua on arts-based learning.

These are notable achievements for an initiative which started out in 2006 by providing a handful of scholarships for children in El Triunfo to attend middle school outside of the community.

In my recent visit to the school at the end of November, it was pointed out to me that the school is now attracting interest from students who want to come and study from communities up to ten or fifteen kilometers away! At the start of the year I was personally disappointed in the relatively small number of students (around 80 from grade seven to twelve in the school) who had enrolled. But this fall the school directors and teachers have been hard at work encouraging enrollment for next year by hosting information programs on a local community radio station as well as distributing posters and flyers over a wide area.

For the 2014 school year, which starts in about a month, there is still much that needs to be done. While the Ministry of Education and the local municipality has provide support for capital projects (ie – projects which means that a giant sign showing their support can be put up), there is still little or no government support for ongoing operating costs of the school. Next year we’ll still be responsible for the teachers salaries. In addition the shiny new expansion lacks some of the basic needs for a classroom such as blackboards, desks and even chairs.

The school is also seeking support to provide internet access to the computer lab, to purchase more computers, as well as to build a new facility for the computer lab and kitchen.

I want to thank all of you who offered support for the washroom project I mentioned in last month’s update. The needed money has been sent to the community and the project will be finished in time for the start of classes in a few weeks.

There’s still time this year for you to make a tax deductible donation to the school, which can be directed to Pueblito Canada. You can donate online.  (Click on “Donate Now.” Then under “Fund/Designation,” select “El Triunfo School Project.” Or you can also send a cheque payable to Pueblito Canada to:

 Pueblito Canada
@ The Centre for Social Innovation
215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5T 2C7
ATTN: El Triunfo School Project

 For more information on Pueblito and the other projects they support in Central America, please visit www.pueblito.org.

Thank you.

Ken

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