Sherrie recently started a blog to shed light on the conditions Guatemalan children live in and allow a place for people to come see the mission of her non-profit endeavor. I went and looked at EmbraceEffort.org and was shocked to see where the fifth grade students were meeting. Look at this picture! It's basically a little shack. We are so blessed to have brick schools (some of us in trailers) with the necessitates to teach.
________________________________________________________________________________ Guatemala is an amazing and beautiful country with some of the friendliest people in the world. In some ways and in some parts, it’s quite modern with high speed Internet cafes and cell phones. But in terms of poverty, nutrition, and educational opportunities it's still very much a developing country. Some aspects of the culture are very traditional from their clothing, textiles, outdoor markets and transport of materials.
Outdoor markets are great places to buy just about anything but especially fresh fruit and tortillas. The fresh fruit that is locally grown is quite amazing to the taste. The food and textiles sold at these local markets are brought in on foot, or by "Chicken Bus." The typical transportation from town to town is taking the "Chicken buses." These are otherwise known as old school buses from the U.S. that have been re-painted. The drivers of these buses drive extremely fast and they rarely stop for any unscheduled purposes.
Schools in Guatemala are grossly underfunded. Guatemala Embrace Effort is currently working with the school, Los Aposentos to help improve the lives of children. They often run out of supplies and money to feed the children well before the end of the school year. Parents can do little to help, which is why malnutrition is such a problem. They don't have a reliable source of water, a fence, or enough space for all their classes. For lunch, the children are often given half a boiled plantain...that's it!
Even with such dire situations, Guatemalan school children are some of the happiest kids around. Boys (mostly) enjoy playing soccer any spare moment of the day and are quite good, while the girls enjoy gossiping and running around with friends. However, the girls that actually do play soccer, are usually very good. Barriers to education funding in Guatemala are similar to those in the United States, but in most cases the stakes are much higher in Guatemala. In the current state, many children won't receive the nourishment they need or be safe while they are at school. Without opportunities for quality education, millions of children will likely live their lives in the same state of poverty they were born into. It is Guatemala Embrace Effort's mission and hope to promote quality education, better nutrition and improved health and safety for Guatemalan children.
If you are interested in helping Guatemala Embrace Effort, make sure to visit their blog and see what you can do to help!
What are you thankful for in education today?