According to 2009 census data, of 41,520 residents in San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala: only 7% of children attend secondary school; 0% of residents have appropriate waste management solutions; and, 14% report full-time employment with benefits. The cycle of poverty is hard to break when burning garbage or throwing it into the local ravine leads to poor health outcomes and from there to low school attendance and few employment options.
Our school, Tecnico Chixot, will offer K-12th grade and a curriculum enhanced with environmental and small business education. Students will graduate prepared to be responsible, active innovators in their own community. Onsite gardens, a recycling center and local building projects provide hands-on learning opportunities at all levels. Whether they choose to attend university or enter the job market, they will have the skills needed to earn a living wage and improve their families' health.
Effective change begins with children. As our students move through school, they will learn about the relationship between waste management, clean water, cooking methods, diet and health. As young entrepreneurs, they will learn how to identify a problem and implement a solution. With small classes and the practical application of knowledge, our students will be the leaders of their community and, eventually, their country! In 2014, we have 66 students in grades Kindergarten through Sixth.
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