Our program in Guatamala is being lead by International Relations Director Lauren Duffy. The program branches off from one of our main streams of work, which is education and by which we mean advancing education. Any opportunity we get to support young people through learning, we take it.
This is a great opportunity to support pupils in Guatemala, which financially speaking, many students do not have the right learning resources to advance through the education system and gain qualifications.
Education in Guatemala is free and compulsory for six years. Comparing that to the UK, where Education is free and compulsory for 13 years. Guatemala has a 3-tier system of education starting with primary school, followed by secondary school and tertiary education, depending on the level of technical training. 74.5% of the population aged 15 and over is literate, the lowest literacy rate in Central America.
With more than half the population of Guatemalans living below the poverty line, it is hard for children going school, especially indigenous children, to afford the rising cost of school uniforms, books, supplies and transportation, none of which are supplied by the government. This is exacerbated by the fact that, for poorer students, time spent in school could be time better spent working to sustain the family. It is especially hard for children living in the rural areas to attend primary school and most drop out due to the lack of access and largely inadequate facilities.
Gender inequality in the sphere of education is also common, where male literacy and school enrolment exceeds female rates in all aspects. Out of the 2 million children who do not attend school in Guatemala, the majority are indigenous girls living in rural areas. Most families subscribe to patriarchal traditions that tie women to a domestic role and the majority would rather send a son than a daughter to school if they could afford it.
Information found from Wikipedia
Our program will be supporting 30 primary school students with learning resources. If you are interested in donating any items towards our program, this page.