Ten Years of Education in Guatemala

October 17, 2015

Dear friends,

If you can believe it, we’re coming up to the 10th anniversary of supporting education in the community of El Triunfo. Ten years ago this month a tropical storm devastated many parts of Guatemala. While El Triunfo was largely spared, there was serious damaged caused by mudslides and heavy rain to several houses. Thanks to your generosity we were able to buy materials to rebuild ten houses. After the houses were completed I received a letter from a community member outlining the situation for students in the community and asking me to support his two daughters in their dream to complete high school.

Glorida (and her sister, not pictuered) were the first scholarship recipients in El Triunfo from this project.

Glorinda and her sister, (not pictured) were the first scholarship recipients in El Triunfo from this project. She is now working in the local office of a Guatemalan university.

While there was a primary school in the community, students had to travel and enroll in schools in larger centers in order to continue onto grade seven.  Within two years, the project had expanded from providing scholarships to a handful of students for them to study outside of the community with the establishment of a middle school in the community. With your support the community was able to physically expand the school in 2010 and add high school classes.

The expansion of the school is inaugurated in October 2010

The expansion of the school is inaugurated in October 2010

It’s been quite an adventure with many ups and downs including the elation of graduation days and the excitement of the start of each new school year but also the disappointment of variable student enrollment numbers. And the anniversary celebration for the school is lots of fun each year. Remember when the students used to jump through fire?

In 2010, students literally played with fire at the anniversary for the school.

In 2010, students literally played with fire at the anniversary for the school.

But, overall, the project has been able to help improve the lives of dozens of students and their families by providing them with invaluable life-long literacy skills In addition, most of the students who have completed grade 12 have been able to find meaningful work away from the basic jobs in agriculture, in the informal sector or at home, which many of their peers pursue. And in a country where teenagers are often married to much older men, it’s been great to see the number of female students, with the support of their families, who have chosen to stay in school.

What's the bigger class ever in the school? The grade seven class this year.

Which is the biggest class ever in the school? The grade seven class this year.

You can see the progression of the school through my photos online here.

The success of the school has not been possible without your ongoing financial support. While students pay a small fee every month (which is often waived by the school for those who cannot support), money is needed every month to pay the bulk of the salaries of the teachers, directors and secretaries of the school.

This year has been a bit of a challenge as the continuing decrease in the Canadian dollar has caused the expenses to increase. (The Guatemalan currency has not moved in either direction this year.) If you haven’t donated this year, the teachers and students (and my bank account), would appreciate your support.

You can donate online through Casa Pueblito.

(Important:  under “You can select to apply your donation to a specific fund set up by this charity,” please select “El Triunfo School Project.”)

You can also mail a cheque payable to Casa Pueblito (please note this is a new address). Cheques may also be dropped off with me.

Casa Pueblito

107A 2238 Dundas St. W

Toronto, ON M6R 3A9

ATTN: El Triunfo School Project

Please note Casa Pueblito is also in a position to accept donations of securities.

Thanks

Ken

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