60 million girls in Comitancillo, Guatemala
We have arrived at the first stop of our 60 million steps Challenge, the Municipality of Comitancillo in Guatemala. Comitancillo is the home of the Maya Mam indigenous people and the site of our first project in Central America.
In 2018, we funded an education project, implemented by our partner, Change for Children (CFC, and designed to improve the quality of education for students in ten schools through the use of the Mobile Learning Labs (MLLs).
What is the MLL? The MLL consists of a small server, the RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning), and tablets. The RACHEL contains a vast digital library and a wide range of educational resources that can be easily curated to provide culturally-relevant and locally-specific content. It is available offline and can be charged with solar panels where there is no electricity.
The project was to be implemented over a period of two years, beginning in January 2019. Unfortunately, as in many other countries, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the closure of Guatemala’s schools in March 2020, shortening the length of the project. As a result, CFC conducted the study of the project, based on its 10-month duration. It found, as we had already, that the MLLs generated self-confidence and motivated learning. They also provided opportunities for children to investigate and learn on their own by accessing the many fun, interactive resources.
To read Change for Children’s very informative study, click here.
Would you like to know more about Guatemala?
Banteluna! (welcome in Mam)
Guatemala is a country located in Central America with a population of 18 million people where Spanish is the official language, but Mam is spoken by the indigenous communities in Comitancillo, where 60 million girls has its project.
Quick facts about adolescent girls’ education in Guatemala:
- In Guatemala, indigenous females are the most disadvantaged and vulnerable group.
- Many girls and women do not attend school and are forced into child labor.
- The majority of these are indigenous girls living in rural areas.
- Less than 30% of poor, rural indigenous girls are enrolled in secondary education.
- By age 17, only 26% of indigenous girls are still enrolled in school.
- Nine out of 10 schools in rural Guatemala lack books. Another problem, especially in rural areas, is a lack of proper training for teachers.
Want to walk more? Go and explore the Acatenango volcano.
The moderately-used trail to the Acatenango volcano is 13.8-kilometre round trip and is located near Antigua Guatemala. It offers scenic views but is rated as difficult. The trail offers several activities and is best used from February until June.
For more information, check these links: