Educational Resource Development and Sustainability for Indigenous Mayan Schools in Guatemala


The Problem

As an integrated Youth Promoter in the Peace Corps, I aim to prepare youth for their adult roles in the areas of family, social life and careers, but the lack of progressive resources poses major challenges for my mission. The issue concerns technological equipment and available textbooks in four rural schools, Pasajoc, Chuicruz, Vasquez and Nimasac. Neither school possesses student textbooks and only one school has a computer. My schools and I are spearheading a project with Computers for Guatemala to develop computational centers. Our goal is to begin with sixteen computers ($60 each) to be divided amongst the four schools. The “Parents of the Family” committees are assisting towards the goal. Sadly, only teachers have textbooks and students are forced to copy their lessons in notebooks. There is no funding from the Ministry of Education to supply texts. The texts needed are for junior high-grade level. Textbooks can be rented annually for $3.75 through Cooperative for Education. After six years, schools will accumulate enough funds to permanently claim textbook ownership. The “Parents of the Family” committees are providing funds for the pilot textbook project as well. Prior educational experiences and knowledge regarding resource development allows me to act as a co-facilitator. I initiate proactive manners on how to take hold of educational and technological opportunities, by introducing networking skills to principals and teachers on ways to locate and maintain sustainable resources.

Plan of Action

Principals and teachers received presentations on networking methods and the importance of resource development and sustainability. After the presentations, each principal received a detailed list of local organizations, their respective resources, and contact information. Each school is currently in contact with two organizations, Computers for Guatemala and Cooperative for Education. Every school held meetings with their respective “Parents of the Families,” committees, to inform parents about the organizations, the materials offered, and the funds needed to purchase the resources. The communities agreed to begin with the computers, and each school created a computational area within their respective school. Next, the principals submitted a solicitation for computers application to Computers for Guatemala, and each application has been approved. Currently, the “Parents of the Families” and outside solicitations are providing funds to begin the computational centers. Thus far, six computers have been purchased. Two computational centers are completed, and two more are underway. Each school is creating letters of solicitation for the Municipality and businesses to generate annual funding. Cooperative for Education has been contacted regarding the need for textbooks in all four schools. The request forms have been submitted, along with information regarding the schools’ dynamics. We have received confirmation regarding our submissions.

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