Guatemala has among the lowest levels of health and education spending relative to GDP in Latin America. The Committee (on the Rights of the Child) continues to be deeply concerned that the uneven distribution of wealth and land and the high level of social exclusion, in particular among indigenous and rural populations, hinder the full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights.

The recruitment of quality teachers in rural areas of Guatemala poses a large problem, as due to daily commute of a few hours in order to reach the rural areas, many teachers look for employment in the larger towns. Not to mention, majority of classrooms nationwide, in particular in rural Guatemala, do not meet minimum standards for classroom space, equipment and furniture, teaching material and water/sanitation.

Ochoch Hik’eek is a very different school. There is no staff apart from the 2 ladies cooking the meals. Teenagers wake up at 4 am to help prepare breakfast and clean the environment before starting their classes at 7 am. After the lunch, it is the students who clean the tables, the kitchen, everyone washes their plates and return to more work like cutting the grass in school teritory, sweeping the floor. More classes follow from 2.00 pm until 5.30 pm and before the dinner children are washing their clothes by hand, bathing or relaxing. After the dinner, study hour follows where homework and extra studies are done. Teenagers work very intense and all together, in order to keep the school fluorishing. This form of work aims to teach students of values like collaboration and pursue of the fruits of labour.

We are very lucky to have an established association at Casa de la Esperanza, which provides an opportunity to education for the teenagers from rural families. School operates in 15 days full-boarding plan, followed by 15 days when children return to their families to work and support financially. However, it is still economically very difficult for the families to send their children to the school.

As stated in The World Bank website: “Approximately 75 percent of the population is estimated to live below the poverty line, which is defined as an income that is insufficient to purchase a basic basket of goods and services. Poverty is especially prevalent in rural areas in the North, Northwest, and Southwest and occurs primarily among the poorly educated and indigenous members of the population. More than 90 percent of the indigenous population live on an income that is lower than the poverty line.” This is why we need help from you.

And these are examples of the expenses here in Guatemala:

  • $8 pays for 1 student’s travel costs to and from the school
  • $10 is pocket money for 15 days’ teaching plan for a student
  • $30 can provide opthamologist visit for 30 students
  • $40 would buy a pair of reading glasses
  • $70 is a first gynecologist visit for 10 girls
  • $115 would pay for 3 student’s teaching plan fees

…the list could go on and on. But for the start, we would love to run the essential health checks for the students, as very few of them have ever had them done. If, with the help of all goodhearted people, we manage to raise enough funds, our dream would be to offer 1 free teaching plan a year for each student.

Every little help from each of us can greatly contribute to the future of the children living in the country with little opportunities, but despite all, wishing to suceed in their future lives.