It is time!
Our project in Monte Mercedes
Where is Monte Mercedes?
Monte Mercedes is a small village in the southwest of Guatemala. The village is located about 2.5 hours by car northwest of Guatemala City and half an hour north of Panajachel and Lake Atitlán.
The initial situation
In Guatemala, the right to education is enshrined in the constitution. Attendance at a 6-year elementary school is compulsory, the only type of school that the state must make available to all children free of charge. Despite this, around 245,000 girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 12 still do not attend school. Unfortunately, the percentage of school-age children not attending school has increased significantly in recent years, from 5.5% in 2006 to 19% in 2015.
Our mission is clear – to provide better access to education for the children of Guatemala! In addition to building more schools, this also includes further improving the quality of existing educational opportunities and being able to ensure the sustainable continued financing of the projects.
What are we doing in the project?
In the rural regions of Guatemala, access to education is particularly poor. The reasons for this are too few schools built by the state and often long distances for children to travel from their homes to attend classes. The experience of already active local associations shows that the construction of a usable school building increases the acceptance of the state to provide teachers and the acceptance of the children to accept longer distances to school. Then, after the 6 years of elementary school (Primaria) in Guatemala, more and more students attend the subsequent middle school (Basico) as well as the high school (Diversificado).
In the village of Monte Mercedes in southern Guatemala, the foundation stone for a new project was laid on November 14, accompanied by a traditional opening ceremony in the village. The plan is to reinforce an existing building and add a 1st floor to the building, which will have a total of four classrooms. Two of the classrooms will be used for regular classes. In addition, there will be a multi-function room and a computer room. A new staircase will also be added to provide access to the 1st floor. With our donations of over 10,000€ collected in 2021, we can make a major contribution to ensuring that the construction can be completed this year.
As the issue of climate change is close to our hearts, the classrooms are built using sustainable bio-construction methods with building materials such as clay and bamboo to minimize the consumption of important local resources such as sand, water, energy sources.
Together with our own, but also with donations from partners and you, we want to improve the educational opportunities in the world.
We can achieve more together
We are funding the project in Monte Mercedes with almost 100,000€ in donations together with the partner associations Freundeskreis Guatemala, OYAK and Esperanza. The three associations have joined forces because they share a common vision and at the end of the day they have the same goal as Fundingfriends – to give the children in Guatemala better access to education! Therefore, we are now also part of this collaboration and are working together to implement a joint project on the ground. Together we can simply achieve more! Oyak e.V., Esperanza e.V. and Freundeskreis Guatemala already have contacts on site and work closely with the government for their projects.
Esperanza e.V. was founded in September 1992 by 20 committed people who were captivated by the beauty of the country of Guatemala and especially by the friendliness and openness of its people. Esperanza means hope in Spanish, which the association wants to give back to the people of Guatemala.
Esperanza e.V. consists of more than 160 members and has built 58 schools in its more than 28 years of experience, in which almost 17,000 students are taught. The association supports development projects in the highlands of Guatemala in the Sololá region and is committed to offering young people from indigenous families a chance for the future and to educating them about injustice, inequality and climate change. Since there is a lack of school buildings in Guatemala, they build elementary school, secondary schools and academies on site using a sustainable construction method.
Freundeskreis Guatemala e.V.
Freundeskreis Guatemala consists of more than 20 active and over 100 sponsored members who have set themselves the goal of offering children in their project region the opportunity to attend school on a regular basis.
The association from Telgte has been working on projects around Lake Atítlan in Guatemala since 1992 with the aim of improving the educational situation, especially in the rural regions of the Latin American country. This is what they are working for: With every donation, brick by brick for a better education!
Oyak e.V. has its origin in 1986 in a Catholic parish in the district of Siegen, where some parishioners founded a café for development issues. This café had the name OYAK. In 1993, this became the association OYAK e.V. with the goal of implementing a school construction project in Guatemala. For this purpose, 18 members of the association traveled to Morales in 1994 and built their first school there. Since then, OYAK e.V. has financed over 35 projects and implemented them with the help of local volunteers and close contacts with the local company Arquitlan.
Arquitlan supports the association in ensuring the quality and continuity of their projects on site. They receive project applications from the villages on behalf of OYAK e.V., negotiate with the local government, act as builders and architects on site, and visit the existing schools at regular intervals to ensure their long-term functionality. They also accompany the project assignments of the volunteers on site.
Say moyn! 😉
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We are looking forward to meeting you!
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