The children have returned to school in Jocotenango and the program is in full swing. The students were very excited to be back in their healthy and safe environment.
During our 11 years of working with the children and youth in Jocotenango, it became very apparent that after the 9th Grade they needed a better program to ensure they were not succumbing to the violence in the streets, to the gangs, nor to drugs and alcohol which are all too prevalent in our community. With help from a Guatemalan family, we have now secured new land where these young ones are learning life skills and training that will give them a future where they can be proud and contributing citizens.
At our new centre in San Miguel Duenas, an Agricultural Engineer is volunteering his time to teach the youth how to successfully grow vegetable crops which helps to feed the children at the school. Any excess they are then selling in Jocotenango at a little shop they opened. They also sell bread and cookies that they bake themselves. The life skills that they are learning will ensure that they can achieve gainful employment and be contributing members of society.
Sergio setting up the store with the day's baking and Mynor with produce they grew to sell.
According to US AID, “In Guatemala, more than two million out-of-school youth between the ages of 15 and 24, including 600,000 in the Western Highlands, do not have basic life or vocational skills to enter the workforce. Youth face increasingly difficult conditions, including high levels of unemployment, social and economic marginalization, rapid urbanization, increasing crime, and lack of basic services. Long-term, sustainable development and improved equity in Guatemala will only be possible if the education of children and youth continues to improve.”
Youth from our school learning how to tile.
Youth team working together to create the new school/sports centre in San Miguel Duenas.
This is our mission at Los Patojos and with your help, we are achieving our goals.
Muchas Gracias Juan Pablo, Los Patojos, Dreams & Ideas in Action,