After School Feeding and Tutor

The public school system in Guatemala leaves much to be desired for several reasons.  Teachers, in general, have only the equivalent of a high school degree.  There is also a heavy emphasis on crafts and not academic learning. Most public schools are underfunded and understaffed.  We are often told that if you have any money at all, you send your children to a private school.  While it would be beneficial for all children to attend private schools, it’s not practical.  They are expensive and they are not convenient for children growing up in the more remote communities.
                      
Just recently Guatemala has implemented “free” public school education for all children in the primary grades.   While it is low-cost, school is not mandatory in Guatemala and many children do not attend.  There can be a lack of motivation on the child’s or parents’ part usually because the child must work to supplement the family income or sometimes because there is no value seen in education.  Just in the last decade there has been a gradual shift in the importance placed on education by the Mayan Indians. 

Our after-school tutors keep the children abreast of their school instruction, explaining and augmenting the lessons from the classroom.  They also go into more advanced studies, whetting the appetite for children that may want to continue their education beyond the primary grades.

We also teach basic health and hygiene.  The children learn to brush their teeth and wash their face and hands and hair care and other basics in health.  We emphasize basic traditional virtues such as the word “gracias.”   Cleaning up after themselves, helping with the chores and concern for peers and others are part of the values underlying our program.

A nutritious lunch is served three days a week.  This is a real meal (not a nutrition supplement) with protein and vegetables and with a piece of fresh fruit.  It is no surprise that the local teachers report a significant performance difference in the children that attend our programs.   Besides being a fuel for mind and body, these healthy meals also teach the children what proper nutrition looks like and broadens their outlook on eating.

After working in Guatemala for almost a decade, it has become obvious to us that we cannot make the changes that need to occur in the country, but the children we educate will certainly do it.

 

If you would like to help us with this program, contact us.