Only $85 can provide for one child’s tuition fees for the whole year as well as cover school-related expenses (transportation, uniform, gym clothes, shoes, backpacks and other school supplies). Donate any amount you can. Every dollar counts!
San Antonio Chacaya
San Antonio Chacaya is a very small, rural village in the Santiago Bay of Lake Atitlan of around 1,200 Mayan Tzutujil people. There are two schools in the village, an elementary school and a middle school. At around the age of 11, children transition into middle school, which is also when most children start working to increase their family’s income. This, along with the fact that most families in Chacaya cannot afford the fees for schooling, lowers the attendance numbers. The community does not have a government-sponsored middle school, so a cooperative was created by local teachers and leaders instead.
Parents are asked to pay 400Q (about $55) to send their children to the cooperative middle school and cover the additional school-related expenses of about Q200 ($30) a year. This is very difficult for many families, and the school of Chacaya has reported approximately 300 students in the village who are not enrolled in school.
JUSTA & Chacaya
JUSTA has worked in Chacaya in since 2012 to offer various nutrition education workshops, build eco-constructions (an cob outdoor pavilion and a compost area at the school) and also to coordinate the donation of hundreds of books, school materials, sports and musical equipment to the school. In 2015, JUSTA’s relationships deepened with the school’s community when we increased our involvement to holding monthly workshops and yoga sessions.
After working extensively with the teaching staff (local teachers working on a volunteer basis), the biggest need was identified as increasing the number of students in the classroom. This not only increases education in the community, but increasing enrollment will eventually lead to government funding to pay the teachers.