2017 was a busy year of important decisions for Abriendo Oportunidades. We wrapped up work in 100 communites in Petén and graduated our first class of lower secondary students. We learned much about incorporating Abriendo principles into the secondary curricula and found important allies in community leaders who see distance education as the one viable option to solve access to school in the immediate future. This approach is matched by mentors' desire to become school teachers in their communities and provide quality education in their local language. Our secondary school experiment has also demonstrated that women of different ages are eager to return to school and learn new skills. In 2018 we hope to graduate a second class of secondary school students. More importantly, still, will be our efforts to ensure that the mentors' Abriendo platforms have the skills necessary to make the program sustainable in the long term. How do we plan to achieve this? Firstly, by listening to mentors' needs and ideas. Secondly, by working jointly and critically to address gaps in their management and fundraising skils. 2018 will be an exciting year to work on the structures necessary for Abriendo to become a solid platform of young indigenous women committed to quality research, program development and grassroots advocacy.
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