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A small donation makes a big difference for a child in Guatemala!

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Educating Youth in Guatemala

Having worked for over four years with artisans and small businesses in the highlands of Guatemala, Randy and I have learned the most painful aspect of poverty. It is lack of hope – an inability to create one’s own future. In rural Guatemala schools only go through 6th grade and less than half of the children get that far. Illiteracy is the highest in Central America because so many parents can’t afford books and uniforms.  Without an education young people have few dreams of the future. In the case of girls, their usual dream is to get married and have a family. Often those dreams turn into nightmares. The difference we can make for individual young people and their families is huge. Let me introduce you to three of the young people we are currently helping to get an education.


José, a 15-year-old boy, was able to return to 6th grade last year. We paid only $225 for his school supplies and uniforms to make it possible. His mother provides food and shelter by selling Mayan blouses and crafts on the street. She and José both understand the opportunity that education offers. Every mark he received was over 90% so we offered to pay for him to continue this year in middle school. Their poverty is overwhelming, but José, with education, can lead the way out for his family.  


Isabel is a young woman who only graduated from 6th grade.  She and her family live in abject poverty. Four years ago, we invited her to go back to adult school and finish her GED. She struggled, but she did it, improving each year as she gained confidence in her ability to learn. Now she is studying at a career college to become a teacher and is earning almost perfect grades in her classes. Her tuition is $1,800.  Other school expenses for the year are about $300.  Isabel must support her family, so to enable her to continue her studies, we offered to pay her to tutor the children in her impoverished neighborhood. She tutors 11 children, communicating regularly with their parents and teachers. Isabel has become their example and their bridge to a brighter future. Her example is actually as valuable as what she teaches them!  One girl has decided to continue past 6th grade, saying, “I want to be like Isabel.” If any of these children desire and qualify for education past 6thgrade we are committed to helping them. 


Wendy is a single mother who was struggling as a waitress to save money to go to nursing school. Randy met her in the restaurant where she worked. Together with the owner of the restaurant we are paying her school and living expenses. We pay the school expenses, and he helps her pay for rent. She is attending a one-year program that costs $2000 in total. That includes tuition, books, supplies, uniforms, and a laptop. There are many other young people like Wendy who we would love to send to school.  Randy and I have the unique circumstances of knowing and communicating with the families of our students. We are strict in paying for only educational expenses.


Any profit we earn from our business funds educational opportunities. It is not much, though, because we sell primarily wholesale to help artisans in the highlands. We invite you to help us by donating to our education account. As you can see above, small donations go a long way in Guatemala. The costs are low, and the benefits are lifechanging. The students we help have something many of us in the U.S. have never lacked – dreams and hope.  


Thank you for reading and caring