The girls in our area are the most marginalized population we work with. 1) In Guatemala, they are second class citizens as women, 2) they live in poverty and 3) they are indigenous. Even with everything working against them, these young women are strong, determined, intelligent and ready to change the future of Guatemala!

The school system here works as follows:

Primary school is kindergarten-6th grade. Many girls won’t be sent to study after 6th grade; instead they will be taught to cook, clean and weave at home. Básicos is 7th-9th grade. Carrera is the equivalent of vocational high school. Young people can choose from professions such as teacher, secretary, accountant, chef, or business administration. Some will finish vocational school and start working, while others will decide to go on to study in the university.

As of 2021, we have close to 20 students- mostly girls but also a couple of exceptional young men- on scholarship for vocational high school. These young people need scholarships because- even though most of us as foreigners think things should be inexpensive here in Guatemala- continued education IS NOT. There are some public opportunities, though none in our town, so those kids need help with daily transport costs, which end up being around $35US/month. In public schools, we currently have three girls studying to be teachers. Others choose careers that are only offered in private schools, and in those cases, we will cover up to $70US/month in tuition, and their family needs to make the transport a priority and figure out how to make that part happen. In private schools, we have young people studying accounting, business administration, architectural drawing, chef, and auto-mechanic.

We also have some middle-school aged girls on scholarship in public schools. In those cases, the girls need school supplies and uniforms at the beginning of the year (around $150US), then $0-7US/month for tuition. Scholarships is the program where we rely heavily on individual sponsors.

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