- Why Guatemala?
- How does the situation in Guatemala affect me?
- Does CoEd work in countries other than Guatemala?
- How much of my donation goes directly to the programs?
- Where can I find CoEd's Federal Tax Identification Number?
- Can my money really make a difference in Guatemala?
- How do you know your programs work?
- How do your programs help children break the cycle of poverty?
- Why do kids in rural areas need to learn computer skills?
- Why doesn’t the Guatemalan government give out textbooks?
- How much does it cost to supply schools with textbooks and computers?
- How does the revolving fund work?
- How are student fees paid into the revolving fund?
- What can I do to help?
- Can I donate school supplies or other items to CoEd's projects?
- I want to visit Guatemala with you. How can I learn more?
- How can I learn more about CoEd’s work in Guatemala?
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Rural Guatemala has one of the highest rates of poverty, illiteracy, and inequality in the Western Hemisphere. One out of every two adults cannot read or write. Many of the indigenous Mayan Indians who populate the country’s most remote regions struggle to survive as subsistence farmers, earning as little as $2 a day. A typical indigenous woman goes to school for only one year before dropping out. (The World Bank, “Guatemala: Poverty in Guatemala,” February 2003).
CoEd programs provide young people in Guatemala’s rural towns and villages with educational opportunities and access to technology. Our beneficiaries graduate from middle school, receive marketable technical skills that allow them to compete for higher-paying jobs, and continue their education to high school and beyond. Through our programs, we help today’s vulnerable children rise out of poverty and reshape themselves, and tomorrow’s society, in positive ways.
We live in a global world. What happens in other countries—especially those with which we share geographic, social and religious affinities—affects us at home.
Immigration experts believe that more than 10,000 new, undocumented Guatemalans arrive in the U.S. each year. Those who migrate do so out of desperation. In order to feed their families, many impoverished Guatemalans feel they have no other choice but to leave home in search of work—even if it means breaking up the family and facing unknown dangers. Once in the U.S., these migrants put pressure on already scarce local and state resources for schooling, health care, and jobs.
At CoEd, we seek to build local capacity and create opportunities—now and in the future—for Guatemalans in their home communities.
No. We will continue to focus our development efforts on Guatemala so that every child there will have the opportunity for a better life, beyond poverty. More than 10% of Guatemala’s rural middle schools now benefit from a CoEd program. But the need is vast, and much work remains in that country.
Further, while many nonprofits spread their resources across a number of countries, CoEd builds long-term relationships with our beneficiaries in one country, providing them with multiple, layered programs that combat poverty. Our approach to “deep” development will bring about long term, systemic change in Guatemala. For example, disadvantaged children in our elementary school reading program will go on to middle school, where they will have access to our textbook and computer programs. They will build on previous skills and develop new ones, increasing their opportunities to pursue higher levels of education and better-paying jobs—and break the cycle of poverty, once and for all.
That said, our projects can be replicated anywhere in the world—including in the U.S. We remain open and committed to working with other nonprofits from across the globe to share ideas and best practices for serving the world’s poor.
We pride ourselves on being good stewards of your donations. On average, 90 cents of every dollar donated to the projects goes directly to helping the children of Guatemala. Less than 10 cents of every dollar goes to administrative costs.
If you need to know CoEd's Federal Tax ID Number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), for your company matching gift or other purposes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YES! A little bit goes a long way in providing vital educational resources and opportunities to Guatemala’s young people. Just $37 a year can provide a child in Guatemala with one of CoEd’s educational programs! Your donation will plant the seed for permanent change in Guatemala.
CoEd is committed to evaluating the success of each program and sharing the results with our partners.
With the help of independent researchers from Marroquín University in Guatemala City, we evaluate both student and teacher outcomes, through surveys, interviews, and pre- and post-tests.
Behind the numbers are the faces and the voices of the individuals we help:
- Thirteen-year-old Ancelmo, a CoEd computer project beneficiary, lives with his illiterate mother and his 11 brothers and sisters. Ancelmo plans to use the skills he’s received at his school’s CoEd computer center to become a computer teacher. He wants to help other vulnerable children, like him, to achieve a higher standard of living.
- Irma Natalia Con Cuc teaches second grade to young, indigenous children who lack basic Spanish language skills. Through CoEd training, Irma learned how to engage her students in the educational process and to increase their reading skills. “This program is wonderful and so important to our students,” Irma reports. “Every day, I am excited to use what I’ve learned.”
- Anabely, 17, is a recent high-school graduate. She studied with CoEd textbooks and learned technical skills in a CoEd computer center. She believes the experience gave her the confidence to stay in school. She now dreams of attending university. Paulina, Anabely’s mother, who is illiterate and never attended school, believes that, “with the opportunities CoEd has given our children, they can end poverty here and make our village better.”
Through research studies, we know that our program beneficiaries (most of whom are middle-school students) stay in school at higher rates—in fact, dropout rates are 46% lower in schools that have CoEd programs compared to schools that do not. Reducing dropout rates is key to poverty reduction in rural Guatemala. Why? According to USAID, Guatemalan children who receive a quality education for a minimum of 12 years will have access to jobs that pay wages high enough to pull them above the poverty line.
Program beneficiaries also report having used the skills acquired in CoEd programs to move on to the next step, whether it is pursuing more schooling or entering into the workforce. These skills help them earn more money and permanently raise their standard of living.
In Guatemala, approximately 60% of entry-level jobs require computer proficiency.
Children in rural communities lack access to computer technology. Without technical skills, indigenous youth face unemployment and economic hardship. As the digital divide grows, so do income disparities, inequality, and poverty.
By providing computer training to approximately 17,000 students a year, our computer center project gives rural young people the opportunity to compete with their urban peers for high-paying, non-farm jobs or to go on for more schooling. Most students enter our program with no technical skills, and finish—three years and 100 lessons later— proficient in navigating the Internet and using software applications (such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Encarta).
An independent evaluation of our computer program demonstrated that 83% of project participants use their newly acquired computer skills to further their education in vocational schools or to acquire higher-paying jobs.
Even in the U.S., neither the federal nor state governments purchase textbooks for schools. Rather, local taxes or student fees usually fund them.
Given that two-thirds of Guatemalans live in poverty, the tax base in the country is not sufficient to support the provision of books by any level of government. For the past 17 years, CoEd has given local communities the ability to run their own textbook programs, using their own money (rather than having to rely on outside funding).
- Learn how CoEd’s revolving fund model builds self-sufficient communities by visiting our Textbook and Computer Centers program pages.
The average cost per textbook is $9. The cost to supply each school with a complete set of textbooks for every student depends on the total enrollment at that school and on how many of the four subject areas (math, science, Spanish language, and social studies) the school chooses to work with. If the school chooses to work with all four subject areas, they would receive 12 different textbooks (four subject areas times three grade levels). The initial cost of the books is covered by CoEd and its supporting foundations and organizations, such as Rotary International.
The average sustainable Computer Center costs about $50,000 to install from start to finish, including all equipment. As with textbooks, the initial costs of establishing the center are covered by CoEd and its supporting foundations/organizations. However, much more than the physical computer is required to ensure that the program will benefit students for generations to come. The revolving fund, described below, ensures that the ongoing operating expenses of each center are met, while accumulating enough funds to renew the equipment as it becomes obsolete.
As part of the CoEd Textbook Program, each student “rents” their textbooks for a small fee (about $1.50/month); 100% of student fees go into a revolving fund, which is used to replace the textbooks in approximately five to six years.
At a CoEd Computer Center, part of the revolving fund is used to cover ongoing operating expenses. Each Computer Center has a different student fee with a different financial plan, operating budget, and savings plan based on the specific needs and conditions of each school. About a third of the student fee is saved to replace the computers in six years if all goes according to plan. The remaining 2/3 covers operational costs such as:
- Computer teacher salary
- Supervision & maintenance
- Teacher training
- General supplies
- Printing supplies
- Curriculum licensing fees
- Insurance for the equipment
There are two possible ways for parents to pay the student fees.
- In some schools, the parents pay the student fee to the school, and then the school deposits the money in a secure bank account managed by CoEd.
- At other schools, parents pay the student fee by depositing it directly at the bank using a special code so that they get credit for their deposit.
Once the deposit has been made, CoEd receives notification when we receive our bank statements. Separately, CoEd produces a “CoEd account statement” for each school and project, so that the school sees how much has been deposited.
There are so many ways that you can make a difference by getting involved with CoEd. Explore the How You Can Help section to learn about opportunities to join CoEd in our efforts to provide educational opportunities to Guatemalan students. Or, read more about specific volunteer opportunities with CoEd.
We recommend making a cash donation, which CoEd can use to purchase school supplies and other items in Guatemala.
We do accept NEW school supplies, including pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, rulers, and similar supplies, as well as sports equipment. Everything we accept must be new, in order to preserve the dignity of the people we serve. We do NOT accept books donated in the United States, computer equipment, paper products, clothes, or soap and shampoo.
During Project Tours, CoEd distributes books, sporting equipment, and pens/pencils to all schools. Any tour participant wishing to distribute other items, such as photos, candy, or clothing can do so without the assistance or involvement of CoEd staff, as long as CoEd staff are notified ahead of time. As luggage space is limited, tour participants must submit a request to Jennifer Sands at email@example.com or 513-661-7000, x. 101, if they wish to carry items for distribution on a tour.
Explore the Visit Guatemala with CoEd section of our website to find out how you can sign up for one of our life-changing tours. Or, to talk directly to a past CoEd tour participant, please contact:
Jorge Gonzalez, 513-759-2232, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed McCarter, 513-321-2841, email@example.com
How can I learn more about CoEd’s work in Guatemala?
The 2010 book, Rewriting the Future, describes CoEd’s work in Guatemala, including exclusive stories about the lives and dreams of the children and youths CoEd serves, along with firsthand accounts from other volunteers and CoEd staff members. The book is beautifully illustrated with photos from Ivan Castro.
- Receive a free copy of Rewriting the Future when you make a $25 donation to CoEd through this special link.
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