We aim to provide a high-quality and affordable education, costing less than 16% the average Guatemalan private school tuition. Our innovative ESD-oriented curriculum equips the next generation of Comalapans with the skills that they need to deal with current challenges. Our students lead green construction projects in the community which engage with local social, environmental, and economic problems, whilst simultaneously encouraging free thinking through a contextualised learning experience.
According to a recent study conducted in Comalapa (Mansilla et al., 2016), education is the second highest monthly expense after food costs. Comalapans spend more on education than they do on medical and portable water. Even so, 36% of Comalapans have only a primary education, and just 7% are university educated. This low educational attainment makes it difficult for Comalapans to access higher income employment and to ultimately break free of the cycle of poverty in which the majority live.
Alongside our curriculum development, to further enhance our curriculum and deepen our students' learning, we will implement a teacher training program. As our Comalapan Hero School Director Werner Bal puts it, "It is important to develop our curriculum's focus on sustainable development within our local context. Traditional education has lost relevance; times are different, therefore, education must be different." We are providing educational tools for students to break their cycle of poverty.
In Comalapa, 64% of the population live in poverty and 27% live in extreme poverty. Water sources are contaminated with waste and many families lack proper smoke filtrating stoves, causing gastrointestinal and respiratory issues. Comprehensive solutions to these problems are few/expensive. Green building implemented through the classroom is an affordable way to address all of these concerns and one that gives students the opportunity to be active community participants and entrepreneurial change