This week see's the launch of our new series which looks at socio-economic issues in Guatemala, and how international volunteers can play a part in shaping the country's future. Today we look at the educational system in Guatemala.
Education in Guatemala
Guatemala is known as the land of eternal spring, with a fascinating landscape of volcanoes, ancient ruins and colourful markets. Yet, a host of urgent challenges surround the country's eductional system. Poor funding, a lack of adequate resources and limited teacher training are endemic problems, particularly in rural areas.
With more than half the population living below the poverty line, many children are forced to drop out of school since their families cannot afford the costs involved. Indigenous girls are among the country's most disadvantaged group with limited educational opportunities and early marriage.
When schools in Guatemala lack the resources to help children succeed academically and socially, this generation is less likely to emerge from the cycle of poverty as adults. Changing Guatemala's future means investing in the education of it's youth.
Volunteering in Guatemala
A network of schools and organisations exist in Guatemala which help children and individuals break the cycle of poverty through education.
Volunteering opportunities are wide-ranging and you could find yourself helping out at a local school or educating a local community on the nutritional value of accessible foods. Some placements offer the opportunity to introduce your own programmes, whether that be running your own music, theatre or sports classes.
Here are a few volunteering programmes which help broaden opportunities for the next generation:
Education for the Children - an international NGO based in Guatemala which runs the School of Hope, a primary and secondary school which educates 462 impoverished children.
Spanish Marks - a language school offering ethically-focussed teaching and educational placements in Guatemala. Spanish lessons included and flexible start dates.
Casa Guatemala - provides education, nutrition and healthcare for the vulnerable children of the remote region of Rio Dulce, Guatemala.