Apply to Join
Feb 28, 2020

Learning English for a Better Future

Students learn by playing games and laughing
Students learn by playing games and laughing

Guatemala is a multilingual and multicultural country, in which 25 languages are spoken. The Garífuna language, Xinca, 22 Mayan languages, including our own Tz'utujil, and Spanish. Guatemala's rich cultural heritage draws many visitors to our country each year. Unfortunately, however, in Guatemala, only 5% of people speak English, and at a very low level, so only a few have the possibility to communicate with visitors. It limits people in how they share their culture and learn from others. Conversely, knowing English can greatly expand one's employment opportunities, especially as we see that Guatemala's tourism industry is not slowing down soon. 

If everyone had the opportunity to communicate in the English language, everything would be easier, right? People would have better job opportunities, because there would be more possibilities to create a business, be a guide for tourist groups, or be a master of some type of crafts. There is so much beauty in the diversity of language, but there is also beauty in a common language that allows for the sharing of ideas across the world.  

Because of the increased opportunities that English can provide, our goal for children of Mano a Mano, children of our artisans, is to increase their access to language learning. We hosted a language class this month so students can take the opportunity to improve their English, hoping that one day they will be well prepared to cope with and interact with people from other countries. Personal development through language and academic preparation is key to creating a good future for them. 

Studying in Guatemala can be difficult due to the economic sacrifices a family has to make in order to make it possible. Even once graduated, there is no promise that a student will find gainful employment, help support their family, or rise above poverty. The case is often even worse for girls, as only a quarter of indigenous girls over the age of 16 are still enrolled in school. 

That is why we want to change the fate of the children of artisan weavers. In the future, they could represent their family by creating a business, seeking to amplify the work done by their parents and siblings. People who know how to speak more than one language have greater job opportunities, for example, people who speak the mother tongue Tz’utujil and Spanish, are often engaged in commerce all over Guatemala and are better suited to excelling even in their home community. Simply put, in Guatemala, bilingual and trilingual people live better, so let's make that easier for the next generation by continuing language development programs for children. 

Having fun learning numbers and greetings
Having fun learning numbers and greetings

Links:

Feb 6, 2020

Educational barriers for the children of artisans

Why is studying complicated for the children of artisans? 

There are several barriers in place that complicate the education of local artisans' children here. These complications can include: 

  1. The fact that they do not have much guidance or assistance with schoolwork at home, because their parents did not have the opportunity to study, which can cause them to have much lower grades and even drop out. 
  2. Children have to help their parents with household chores and are unable to dedicate themselves fully to their studies. 
  3. They do not have access to technology resources that could aid them in their school work because their parents can’t afford these expensive tools. 

In order to help these children and teens with their education, Cojolya is doing everything possible to improve the situation and school performance of the children of artisans, through tutorials and workshops that focus on relevant school subjects and study skills. We also provide resources such as access to the internet and a computer, so they can study without any difficulties. 

In the month of January, Chonita, our Social Programs Coordinator, held a workshop in which students received training on the development of formal written work. The goal of the workshop was for the students to learn the characteristics of a complete written work and then execute their own project. This training was based on the weakness that the students demonstrated in 2019. Chonita noticed slipping grades due to formal aspects of the how schoolwork was turned in, rather than the actual work demonstrated. 

Firstly, Chonita explained the importance of writing a clear and professional index for written work. She explained the process of how to write an index using a PowerPoint presentation and examples on the whiteboard. Then, the students decided to develop their example around the subject of nouns and their classification. As a class, they planned out an outline for the example index. After the class, it was time to put it into practice! Students of both primary and secondary levels worked together to create an index and clear outline for a written work; this model can then be replicated when they have school work to turn in the future. 

Hosting these workshops allows for our students’ study skills to improve. They work on computer skills, teamwork, and collaboration. Above all, they get the extra help they need in order to improve their academic performance in school and continue to excel in the future.

Links:

Jan 10, 2020

Empowering the families of our women artisans

Jose Miguel shares his happiness with his mom
Jose Miguel shares his happiness with his mom

We are very happy to share with you the start of the new school year of 2020. Our goal has always been to support the sons and daughters of the weavers of Santiago Atitlan, so that they would not stop attending school. This is one of the ways we empower the families of the artisans. 

This year José Miguel starts to study to become an accountant. Thanks to the help of the program he is the first of his family to pursue his dreams.

Three of our students in middle school, Lourdes, Israel and Pedro, are discovering in this step of their academic preparation the areas in which they excel to choose the career for which they will be studying in the future.

The brothers Misael and Oliver are excited because this year they are going to finish elementary school. These two young boys have persevered and improved greatly in their studies, notwithstanding the difficulties that their families face, and they have become an example to their two younger brothers.

These kids dream of becoming professionals one day and in January, they can gain even more motivation to start the year by relying on their school material. Donate a smile to each one of these kids and kindly contribute to help them buy their school material.

The students are excited to start the school year
The students are excited to start the school year
The brother Oliver and Misael learning new things
The brother Oliver and Misael learning new things
Misael and Isreal committed to reach their goal
Misael and Isreal committed to reach their goal
They all dream to become professionals
They all dream to become professionals
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.