Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education

by Los Patojos, Dreams & Ideas in Action
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Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education
Help 500 Guatemalan Children Receive an Education

 

Our beautiful Primary School ran out of space.
The exterior of an elementary school

In 2018, with the help of international donors, we purchased land and began planning for a new secondary school. With the advice and guidance of international and national partners, we designed The Centre of Opportunities School. It is not just an institution, but rather a learning and practising school where our students will broaden their horizons in our computer laboratory, teaching kitchen, barista learning bar and coffee grading school. Along with continuing education in the basic curriculum, accompanied with strong English classes, we are giving these students the opportunity to pursue a career path that will help them find employment upon graduation.

Our new secondary school, The Centre of Opportunities.
The exterior of a new secondary school

In September 2022 we held our first open house at the new school. Hundreds of people attended, along with our team, students and families.

Students stand in front of a large crowd
Staff pose for a group photo

Our team of educators, happy and enthusiastic about the new opportunities for their students.

Four of our graduate students who worked every day on the construction, learning new skills from carpentry, plumbing, electricity, and bricklaying.

Four students

Lester joined us at 5 years of age, he grew up in the Primary School. He is now in Grade 10. Despite coming from a very large family with limited resources, he has grown into a confident and mature young man. He loves to play soccer with the school team and as well has been keen on learning how to cook and bake with the culinary team.

Lester smiles at the camera, wearing an apron and cap in a kitchen

Our success has only been possible because of the loyal and generous support of our many international and national donors.

The secondary school exterior from a different angle

On behalf of Lester and hundreds of other children and their families, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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View from our new secondary school.
View from our new secondary school.

INCREDIBLE THINGS WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED WITH YOUR SUPPORT!

 

Our school is still teaching our kids in groups since the government has not given us permission to fully open. We recently implemented a take-home meal program. In elementary school, kids can not stay in the school till lunchtime since the high school program starts at 1 PM, so kids are taking their lunch home in their own tupperware. Since February, we have provided 7,850 free meals in the project. Thanks to our new wellness program and our psychologist, we have provided over 40 therapy sessions and, thanks to our supportive doctor, 50 preventive health treatments have been provided.

The construction of our new secondary school is progressing very well. We are hoping to open the new school in the summer of 2022. The construction is now fully funded and we are working on the budget to equip the school. It will be one of the best schools in the region, complete with a teaching kitchen, computer lab, music/recording lab, art studio, and an English learning centre. This safe space for teens will allow us to expand our schedules in the actual school so we can have more space for new activities and time to attend to our children from 4 to 14 years old.

Our education program is not happening just inside the school, our team is helping our high school seniors to find job opportunities and experiences that help them in their career development. We have built relationships and trust with local businesses that have opened their doors to our high school seniors so they can start their professional careers.

                                               Michelle gives us hope.

After many years as a student, she graduated from the Los Patojos school with a diploma for 11th Grade (the culminating grade in Guatemala). Her life was not easy growing up. She lost two brothers to illness and violence. She stated in our interview that Los Patojos had saved her because she found comfort in knowing she was not alone. While at the school, she met others who were experiencing similar difficulties. Upon graduation, she secured employment in a local cafe/bookstore in the nearby town, Antigua Guatemala.  She is helping her family financially, which has changed their situation drastically. Where there were hardships before for her parents, now there is some semblance of hope. In a country where women are not treated equally, this was a big change for Michelle, the ability to transform her family despite her gender. Michelle is improving her English through online learning and is in the process of applying for university, which she can start next year.

 None of our successes would have been possible without the loyal support we have received from our donors. We are very thankful to each and every one of you who are changing hundreds of lives in Guatemala.

 

 

 

Take home lunch
Take home lunch
Dr. Valle attending to a student.
Dr. Valle attending to a student.
Michelle's Graduation
Michelle's Graduation
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WE ARE BACK IN ACTION!!!


Our school is open to in-person classes, we managed to organize all of our students in groups, so they can come twice per week to participate in all of the activities we offer. As yet, our government has not given us permission to fully open. We have been preparing for months to give our students the best welcome back to school. Our teachers are creating innovative programs to capture the interest of all the students and keep them on the path to being educated.


Some of our senior students.



Our team has interviewed, personally, every student and separately their parents. We were very disturbed to learn that 20% of our students have been seriously affected by the pandemic, including malnutrition, psychological and physical abuse, and of course economic hardship. In response, we have developed a Wellness Program to assist our students in their recovery. We hired a Psychologist who will create and implement not just personal help to those most severe cases but also create and deliver workshops in groups for the children, for the parents, as well as for the teachers.




Gabriel Rosales, a former student and now a teacher of our team interviewing a mother of our program.


Our students are very excited to come back to school, some have been knocking on the door to see if classes had already started since the first days of January. Paolo is one of them, he came to the school every day even though classes had not started, our school is a safe haven from the tough reality he goes through every day at home. He started to attend El Patojismo in 2017. Paolo is very energetic, compassionate, and always willing to contribute to any school activity. In his own words he needs the school as here he feels safe, he can participate in art which he loves, as well as sports.



Paolo 13 years old a 7th grader with Nelson whose been with us since he was 3 years old.



IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO HELP THESE KIDS IN THE WAY THEY DESERVE WITHOUT THE INCREDIBLE SUPPORT WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM OUR FAITHFUL DONORS; WE THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS.

MUCHAS GRACIAS, JUAN PABLO AND THE TEAM AT LOS PATOJOS, DREAMS, AND IDEAS IN ACTION.

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WE ARE SENDING YOU GREETINGS FROM GUATEMALA


We are very excited that our academies for extracurricular activities are getting stronger than ever. Since we are not allowed to have all of our students back to school at once due to COVID-19 restrictions, our team strives to implement the necessary hygiene protocols so our students can go back to in-person activities. Regardless of this impediment, most of our students have been able to attend our online programs but some have no access to internet connection, so we have been increasing our efforts to allow our students to access the diverse resources we offer.




We are giving 7-9 classes daily to different groups of children and teenagers. Some of the classes we are offering are music, art, sports, chess, cooking, computer training/basic programing, and educational reinforcement.

Mayte and Arianna are sisters that have been part of El Patojismo since 2015. Sadly, these girls are having difficult situations at home with their family due to the lock down and economic problems from the pandemic. Thankfully, the extracurricular activities at the school have been a way to keep them in touch with their innocent/creative minds, but most importantly to proper meals. Mayte and Arianna have been able to receive 5 online classes per week through their parents’ WhatsApp. Additionally, on Wednesday mornings, they are assisting marimba (Guatemala’s national instrument) lessons following their art class and, at the end of the week, they participate in the chess club. Both of them love and enjoy all the classes that they receive at the project.





We are very proud to say that we are witnessing the powerful benefits and impact that these academies have and will continue having on our students’ wellness and lives.





Without your generous and ongoing support, we would not have been able to serve and support these two smart and sweet girls and the other 498 children in our school. We thank you and want you to know that we truly appreciate each and every one of you. Your support is vital, please help us continue to give these 500 kids a chance at a better future.





We thank you and want you to know that we truly appreciate each and every one of you.

Muchas Gracias from El Patojismo, Guatemala.

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WE ARE SENDING YOU GREETINGS FROM GUATEMALA


We are very happy to tell you we are now permitted to bring students back to the school in small groups, finally. We are starting with the younger students that have the most challenging lives. Our return includes a medical assessment as well as hands-on attention from their teachers. We are so happy to welcome them, to hear them laugh and engage with their fellow students and teachers.





The construction of our new secondary school is moving along at a rapid pace, without delays nor problems. Our goal is to finish the school within one year and move our senior students to a new, modern and functional school complete with a technology program, English program, a cooking school program and our regular curriculum including arts, music and academics.





Angel is an example of why we will never give up. When Angel came to our school he was undernourished and troubled due to familial problems. He was mainly alone with his older brother, they had to rely on neighbors to share food with them. We have worked with Angel and his father for more than 9 years. The father is now taking care of his sons and working full time. Angel has changed; during his time with us, his health has recovered and he is doing well in his studies. He is in 5th Grade, doing well academically and participating in sports. He loves both basketball and art classes. He wants to be a cook when he grows up.







Our international and national donors are the true heroes here. Without your generous and ongoing support, we would not have been able to serve and support hundreds of children in our country. We thank you and want you to know that we truly appreciate each and every one of you. Please continue to support our school.

Muchas Gracias from El Patojismo, Guatemala.

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Organization Information

Los Patojos, Dreams & Ideas in Action

Location: Jocotenango - Guatemala
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Juan Romero Fuentes
Jocotenango, Sacatepequez Guatemala
$144,214 raised of $200,000 goal
 
755 donations
$55,786 to go
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