Project Quetzal has one simple goal: Mayan children in rural Guatemala need to finish First Grade.
We set out to do this by opening preschools (usually in the teachers’ homes), starting small in several rural communities. Many children do not speak Spanish and are at a huge disadvantage when they start 1st grade in public school at age 7. After attending one of Project Quetzal’s preschools for 2 or 3 years, the children have learned so much and are ready to be successful in 1st grade and continue on with their education.
Now in 2022, we have 9 preschools in different villages. We also have 4 after-school tutorial programs. We provide a daily nutritional drink (Chispuditos) for each child and sponsor monthly meetings with the mothers that cover many topics. We are working towards providing more services for the families in the communities where we work.
So what have we done so far in 2022? Well, we had two fundraisers: a Latin America Craft Sale and a Mexican Cooking Class, both of which were very successful.
But the big news is that we finally returned to Guatemala on March 6th for a month!!!
The school year starts mid-January in Guatemala, so everything was up and running when we arrived. We were busy every day meeting with the teachers, visiting each school, and buying supplies. We interviewed and hired 2 new teachers in two new communities, met with parent groups and local indigenous councils. It was work, but all very satisfying. There are no words to explain the joy of seeing children learning, exploring, and sitting with a book in their hands!
We could not do this without all of your interest and support. There are many nonprofits in Guatemala that have large staffs, office buildings, vehicles, etc., and they have to raise money to pay for these. Project Quetzal has none of these things. All of your donations go directly to pay for a teacher’s salary, educational materials, new classroom setups, and 3 trainings a year for the teachers.
We appreciate your continued support. Our teachers now teach 12 months a year instead of 10, due to the success of the pilot “vacation school” last November and December, and they got a much-deserved raise. Their dedication to the children and the program make all this possible.