The Centro provides educational opportunities to indigenous children+youth in the rural community of La Pista (pop~3,000) and surrounding communities. We supplement the rudimentary local school learning opportunities with free classes for children, computer and internet literacy courses, arts and skills development. In 2016, 1,734 children/youth were supported by the centre and 17,520 nutritious meals were served. Through Feb 2018 we commemorate the fervent support of beloved Philip Van Kirk.
La Pista is a community of ~3,000 people in the mountains of Guatemala's Ixil region. The war of the 1980's that killed tens of thousands in this region has been resolved, but La Pista is still suffering from extreme poverty. Only having access to school 4 hours per day means children cannot rely on it for an effective education or a meal. At home their parents, who are often illiterate and have limited resources, aren't equipped to help them with their homework or provide adequate nutrition.
The Center provides: 1. A library: Providing students with information needed to complete homework, and fiction books for enjoyment/exploration. Computers with internet access are available to conduct research 2. A reading program: Providing story books and comprehension instruction to children 3. After school programs: 4-hours a week of formal classroom time to supplement local school education and learn new curriculums (e.g. environment) 4. Computer Literacy Classes 5. Nutritious meals
The Centro has grown over 15 years from a simple library to become an empowering and comprehensive education and community engagement institution in the Ixil Region requiring $29K funding per year. $7k takes us through April. Hundreds of children and youth now regularly attend classes & activities and have extra nutrients in their bodies, all vital to their personal & professional development. Each child has a much improved prospect for obtaining higher education & breaking the cycle of poverty.