Rural Guatemalan schools in Tecpán face significant challenges providing students with a quality education to help break the cycles of poverty. Our partner schools lack critical resources, even textbooks, while struggling to keep students attending past the sixth grade. With poverty rates at nearly 60%, students are being pulled from schools to support family farming or to work for wealthier families in cities as housekeepers. With your involvement, we can provide engaging lessons and activities to young children in primary schools, giving them the individual attention and resources to be successful. Your work reflects the importance of education for all children in the community, which encourages increased attendance and improves the chances of students continuing to secondary school.
With an underfunded health system and impoverished conditions, children in Tecpán are in need of a number of public health services to improve their overall well being. CCS focuses on vision, dental and sanitation projects in primary schools to improve child outcomes. Vision clinics are conducted to provide much-needed eye assessments and to distribute glasses to children who would not be able to afford them otherwise. Dental care and dental hygiene campaigns are implemented as children often lose teeth at early ages due to improper care and diet. In schools lacking adequate hygiene facilities, CCS volunteers construct hand washing stations and deliver workshops to prevent the spread of disease. Overall, volunteer support to our child health program in Guatemala creates tangible, long-lasting positive impact in the health and success of children.
At Panimacoc, students often start working on their family farm at 4am and are often pulled out of school for days or weeks at a time to assist with income generation. English language skills are an important asset for these students to end the cycle of poverty, but instructors often struggle with pronunciation and knowledge of the language. Through engaging activities and age-appropriate English lessons, volunteers help students improve their language abilities, promote creativity through arts projects, and support with the individual attention of struggling students.
Read more about the Guatemala volunteer experience on our blog!
With a blend of Spanish and Maya people, Guatemala is a multicultural, multilingual, and multi-ethnic nation, with 25 ethnic groups and the same number of languages. In Tecpán, you'll be immersed in a community made up of 90% Kaqchikel Mayas, who speak their native dialect in addition to Spanish. The rich history and cultural traditions of the Maya people translates to the colorful fabrics you'll see in the clothing of women and the delicious food flavored with local spices. As you explore the Maya Highlands, you'll find lush farms dotted with volcanoes located between the colonial town of Antigua and magical Lake Atitlan.
Volunteers are needed year-round from 1-12 week increments. Groups of 4 or more can select their own custom dates and individuals are encouraged to select from the dates below to join a cohort of others.