Break The Cycle Of Poverty Through Education

by Ninos de Guatemala
Tara and Rachel (New Padrino Program Manager)
Tara and Rachel (New Padrino Program Manager)

The past few months have been packed with groups and activities taking place in our schools in Cuidad Vieja.

In February we had a group from Builders Beyond Borders join in the construction of our Básico. The group of High School students worked hard on laying the literal foundation for our school. Recently in April we had another group of students join our construction project working on plastering and cementing the new walls on the school. Both groups came to us from Connecticut thanks to our partners at Builders Beyond Borders.

Speaking of the Básico, we have made tremendous advances on the construction of the school. Check out the pictures below.

Our office has undergone some changes in the past quarter with new faces joining our team. The most prominent recruit is our new General Manager Tara McLaughlin! Tara comes to us with an extensive background working with NGOs in the US and Guatemala and is excited to be a part of our organization.

For more information on the goingson with Niños de Guatemala please like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter. As always feel free to contact us if you would like more information on any of our programs or activities.

Thank you for supporting Niños de Guatemala! 

Construction B3
Construction B3
B3 Construction
B3 Construction
Meeting our students
Meeting our students

NDG has the pleasure to announce that the Juan Bautista Gutierrez Foundation has once again supported us with a generous donation of Fortified Rice. Their donation of 40 boxes of Fortified Rice will have a significant impact on our feeding program that is currently providing a snack and meal to each of our 386 students.

The donation will help subsidize the costs our Nutrition and Health program, one of our largest expenses! Supporting this program gives us a greater ability to provide quality education to our students.

The initial donation came from Pan American Development Foundation, the charitable arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), thank you for making it all possible!

Please send a thank you to the Juan Bautista Gutierrez Foundation from us on social media and let them know how much we appreciate their support!

Facebook: FundacionJBG
Twitter: @FundacionJBG

Posing with our pallet of Fortified Rice
Posing with our pallet of Fortified Rice

NDG is pleased to announce that we are the recipients of the Juan Bautista Gutiérrez Foundation’s 2014 Sustainability Award! In recognition of our stable financial model, we’ve been given a check for Q250,000.This generous donation will go toward materials for our programs as well as our básico school.

The Juan Bautista Gutiérrez Foundation has been supporting community development projects focused on education and health in Guatemala for nearly thirty years. Their annual Apoyando a Quienes Apoyando (Supporting Those Who Support) grants are designed to recognize smaller NGOs for their work and to help with publicity and funding.

The selection process for these awards is rigorous and highly competitive. In addition to writing a grant, our team gave a detailed presentation about our schools, their impact on the local communities, and how they are financed. More than forty-eight nonprofits across Guatemala were up for consideration.

In the end, it was our social businesses that led to NDG winning the Sustainability Award. Since our founding in 2006, we have opened both Cambio Spanish School and the Experience Guatemala Tour, which donate 100% of their profits back to NDG. Together, they constitute a reliable, independent source of funding for our projects that helps to supplement other donations. To learn more about our social businesses, please visit our website.

Many thanks to the Juan Bautista Gutiérrez Foundation for the incredible support!

The Students
The Students' First Class on the Food Pyramid

The English program at both our Nuestro Futuro and El Porvenir schools has made incredible progress since its founding in 2013. While NDG previously relied on long-term volunteers to lead our English classes, we now have two full-time language teachers on staff that follow and adapt the national curriculum based on our students’ needs.

English is a critical skill for our students. Given the strength of the tourism industry in and around Antigua, even a basic grasp of English can dramatically improve a student’s chances of finding a stable job once he or she graduates from our program.

The students themselves continue to be highly enthusiastic about learning a foreign language, taking every opportunity to practice their English with our international volunteers. Based on their level of interest, we’re now considering launching an English afterschool program to reinforce and expand upon what they have been learning in the classroom. Some of the parents in our adult literary program, CONALFA, have even requested private English lessons from our teachers!

Our classes are divided in half for their English lessons in order to ensure that our teachers can monitor each child’s progress with grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. While the lower grades are focused entirely on speaking and listening, the older students are now reading and writing as well.

In general, our English lessons reflect what the students are learning in their other classes. For example, while our second graders are studying healthy diets this month, they will also be learning about the food pyramid in English. What’s more, our classes are designed for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles, incorporating songs, hands-on activities, and plenty of visual aids.

Right now, our teachers are still working with limited materials, creating many of their exercises from scratch. In order to continue to grow our program, we need to purchase English-language textbooks, activities, posters, and games in the near future. If you would like to help us accomplish this goal and break the cycle of poverty through education, please donate today.

Thank you for your ongoing support!


Parents Hard at Work in the CONALFA Program
Parents Hard at Work in the CONALFA Program
Learning the Parts of the Body in English
Learning the Parts of the Body in English
Students line up in gym class
Students line up in gym class

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Niños de Guatemala.

Over the last four years the community in Ciudad Vieja has undergone a change. This largely agricultural community used to not place much importance on education, and thought nothing about pulling their children out of school after a few years to help work in the fields. It didn’t help that in Guatemala even the public schools cost money (uniforms, school supplies, transportation) and most families can’t afford even that (according to the World Bank 75% of Guatemalans live under the poverty line and 58% below the extreme poverty line). Today 213 children attend the Nuestro Futuro primary school, and many more are on the waiting list. By providing a truly free, high-quality education, and offering resources to the whole community, Niños de Guatemala (NDG) has been able to create a brighter future for the youngest generation.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing (Maribel, the school principal, describes how in the beginning they had trouble getting children to attend, partially because some parents were worried the school was going to kidnap their children), but this year they will have their first class of graduating sixth graders. Of the 33 families with graduating students, 27 have already expressed interest in having their child continue on to seventh grade—a huge success in a country where only about 46% of children even enroll in secondary school (let alone attend). When they do graduate (and I have faith all 33 will graduate at the end of the school year), they will have not only gained a solid primary education, they will know more about health and hygiene, have an understanding of basic finances, be better nourished, and their whole family will have received years of classes and assistance from social workers leading to less domestic violence and abuse.

As we drive down the volcano and the blue walls of the school fade into the dusty fields, it’s impossible not to think of what Guatemala would be like if more children were able to attend schools like Nuestro Futuro.

Brushing their teeth after lunch
Brushing their teeth after lunch
Second graders in computer class
Second graders in computer class
Playing in gym class
Playing in gym class

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Organization Information

Ninos de Guatemala

Location: Antigua, Sacatapequez - Guatemala
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Lea Ritter
Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala

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