Vida is committed to long-term involvement in the
education of children from the poorest rural Guatemalan
communities. We believe this is the most effective
way of helping them to help themselves.
issues in Guatemala exist on a scale not seen in
the developed countries. Rural Guatemalans, especially
the indigenous, face some very serious challenges:
Health:Infant mortality is among
the worst in the hemisphere.
mortality rate is 55 per 1,000 live births.1
mortality rate is 110 per 100,000 live births.1
of infants suffer from low birth weight.1
of indigenous children are malnourished.2
Guatemala is one of the poorest countries
in the hemisphere.
of the population is estimated to live below
the poverty line.1
of the population have incomes below the
extreme poverty line.1
of the population lives on less than $2
of the population lives on less than $1
Literacy:Guatemala has one of the lowest literacy
rates in Latin America.
male adults have a literacy rate of 20%.5
female adults have a literacy rate of just
average schooling of the indigenous population
is just 1.9 years.1
Rights:Guatemala is one of the world's
most violent countries.
There are 43 murders per 100,000 people
last year, according to a government estimate.3
are filed in only 2% of all murders.
believe that education is the most effective long-term
resolution to many of the issues listed above. Providing
access to education is a way to help people help
themselves. Additional benefits from increased access
to education include:
disenfranchised indigenous populations participate
fully in civil society.
better job opportunities.
elementary schools in Guatemala suffer from the
trained and paid teachers
desks, books, and other materials
of middle and high schools; student travel required
cannot afford materials or inscription fees
keeps children working at home
and high schools in Guatemala also have some issues:
better schools are far too expensive for rural
public schools are overcrowded, offer sub-par
teaching, and still require expenses that rural
indigenous students don't have.
coming from rural elementary schools are often
far behind the learning curve from their peers
goal is to raise up an educated generation of leaders
that will make their country a better place. Our
approach consists of two components:
Scholarships - We
work with rural indigenous communities to provide
children with the financial support and individual
attention they need to complete a basic education.
give special attention to orphans, the disabled,
and other disadvantaged children that would
otherwise fall through the cracks.
possible, we place scholarship recipients in
private schools. If the distance from home is
great and the student is very young, we will
choose placement in the closest public school.
regularly meet with the families of scholarship
recipients to reinforce the importance of education,
and to ensure the student is given time to study
are also intended to help defray the opportunity
cost incurred by sending a child to school who
would otherwise be helping to generate income
for the family.
are available from Kindergarten through the
University level. We encourage our students
to think big in this regard.