Los Ninos de San Pedro

$2,120 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 35 months




      Hello! I am Samantha, a student from the States and as of recently, I've moved to San Pedro La Laguna,Guatemala. What started as teaching English in one of the local public schools has turned into building a community center, Los Amates Centro Cultural that will benefit both children and adults in the area.
Our mission is to Educate, Enlight and Empower. We want to provide opportunities for Pedranos that may not be available otherwise. In the cultural center, we will have free English classes twice a week. Since San Pedro is a very touristy area, knowing English will provide job security and access to many things such as books. We plan to have weekly workshops of art, music, nutrition, yoga, permaculture, recycling and whatever else life throws at us! These workshops will empower local families, and broaden the learning horizon of the children. There will also be a library where books can be freely read or checked out. The space for the center is basically a clean slate, so we will need to start from the ground up building chairs, tables, bookshelves, etc. 

 

      

      Please watch our original video below, to learn more about the education system in Guatemala. We welcome any suggestions, volunteers and support. 

 

xo Samantha

 

 

 

 

 

Towards the Southwest of Guatemala lies Lake Atitlan, considered to be one of the World's most beautiful lakes. The towns that line it's shores are almost entirely populated with Indigenous people, and the strong Maya culture is still present today. The tourism increase in these parts has had a positive effect for a small portion of the locals, while 85% of the population is still living below the poverty line, and coping with the transition into "modernized" civilization. In places like San Pedro La Laguna, the majority of the town's people who are farmers, only make about $3 per day, and are struggling to provide necessities for the families. Sending their children to school is considered a luxury, as they can't afford even basic school supplies, and keep up with yearly cost. Children end up dropping out of school at a young age,and many work on the streets selling food and handicrafts to tourist. In Guatemala, only 40% of students will complete Elementary school.




For those who do get the opportunity to go to public schools such as Pacucha and Chuasinayi, conditions are still far from perfect. In Guatemala, the financing designated to public education is just a mere 1.8% of the Gross Domestic Product, less that half of it's neighboring Latin American countries. In 2005, the public school system because decentralized- meaning the individual school is responsible for all aspects of education within the community.In rural parts of the country, 0% of public schools meet the National minimal standards. This being said, schools in towns like San Pedro are becoming majority privatized- leaving the 35% that are public, with no resources and poor education quality.



I first wanted to become involved with helping these schools when I saw that they have so much potential, yet the lack of resources halts them from realizing it. These children are the future of the world, and deserve every opportunity possible to expand their minds and build a future for themselves. With the cultural center, we will be able to reach out to many children and provide just that.



While there is so much that can be done to improve the education for these students, we have a few main goals so far. I believe it is important anyone donating knows exactly where their money is going and whom is benefiting. We will buy books and supplies locally to support the economy.



IF you would like to help and are unable to donate, please share the page and pass the message along :) The school is always accepting volunteers as well!

Thank you from all of us here in San Pedro. xx






Resources:
http://www.avivara.org/aboutguatemala/educationinguatemala.html

http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6151425/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Guatemala

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Update 7
29 months ago
The past few months has been such a great learning experience starting with teaching English at the public school, to trying to start the project in my house. In an effort to make what we are doing more self-sustaining, we will be combining forces with an already existing project and orphanage here at the lake, ¨Niños de Chuitinamit Luz¨. The orphanage is located in a very small indigenous town next to San Pedro, called San Pablo. Classes will be available for children whom are living in the orphanage, as well as children in the area who are not. A wonderful Canadian lady has donated funds for them to add a classroom onto the housing, which will be finished in just a few weeks. Therefore, we will be moving the library and all supplies over this week! I will be closing this fundraising page, and managing their social media such as a new GoFundMe page and website. Thank you all so much for your generous donations, and for the support the past few months. Working together with an already existing project will only make the community outreach that much stronger. I will post the links for the new pages as soon as they are finished. xo love to all!

Samantha
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Update 6
30 months ago
Our classroom space is finally coming together! We have a whiteboard, and bookshelf filled with lots of books and goodies. Thank you all who have contributed this far allowing for us to be able to purchase these things. English classes will be starting at the new space the 17th of March with two different age groups of classes, twice a week.
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Update 5
31 months ago
All thank-you gifts for donors who have contributed thus far will be sent out next week ! Please continue to share and spread the word. XX
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Update 4
31 months ago
Just as life is ever changing it's course- my plans here in Guatemala are as well! In an effort to reach out to more than just one school here in San Pedro, but to offer services to an entire community, we will be expanding our project. I am so lucky to have found a beautiful house, where one of the extra cabanas will be used as our new community center. Instead of teaching English in just one public school once a week, we will open the classes to all children in the community, five days a week with the help of my new partners. There are so many possibilities opening up for us to make this community center work. We will also be offering English classes for adults, as well as various workshops such as art, music, permaculture, recycling, nutrition, and anything else life throws at us.

I am so, so thankful for the support and donations we have recieved thus far and hope that you all continue to share and support our project. I also wanted to take this time to give everyone a quick update on where the money has been going. Sunday we will receive about 300 Children's books that will be the start of pur library, where our students and the neighborhood children can come freely to read or check out books. We have also purchased basic supplies such as notebooks and art materials. Our next step is to purchase materials to make whiteboards, tables, chairs, and finish the flooring of the center. These are the basic necessities, yetd can not happen without the support from all of you. More important than ever, share our project with everyone, or visit our "gofundmepage" and donate today! I am trying to set up a payment plan so th
at individuals who would like to can donate a small donation each month or so. I will be sure to keep everyone updated on all of our progress in the next few weeks and the exiting things to come!

Www.gofundme.com/kidsofsanpedro xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxo !!!
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Read a Previous Update
Help spread the word!
 312 total shares
Samantha Lethio
31 months ago

Thanks again Raymond, can feel the love from here! Xo

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Raymond Quiachon
31 months ago

Hi Samantha! My friend Jay Jackson turned me unto your labor of love. Jay was my neighbor while lived in San Marcos. I am filled with joy with your labor of love to help the indigenous kids of San Pedro. Wishing you all the best and success.

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$2,120 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 35 months
Created October 3, 2013
SF
$250
Sandra Fisher
30 months ago

Love you, Sam!!!!

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$100
Kristina Cardoza
30 months ago

Samantha, Best wishes.... I hope you far surpass your goal!! I wish I could come and volunteer with you! Love, Kris

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RF
$100
robert fabian
30 months ago

Thanks for working to make the world a better place.

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MR
$20
Mark Roomy
31 months ago
$50
Robert Doran
32 months ago

Amazing, inspiring work your doing!! Best of luck!!

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RS
$50
Robin Streit
32 months ago

Feliz Navidad! Buen trabajo y buena suerte! Steve and Robin McGuire, Cody's Dad

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Y!
$160
Yoga Fundraiser !
32 months ago (Offline Donation)
VT
$50
Val & Fred Treptow
33 months ago

Good luck Sam!

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$200
Patti Hughes
33 months ago

Natural Life is happy to give back and help your efforts to help the children of San Pedro!

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AN
$30
Alycia Neill
33 months ago (Offline Donation)
Samantha Lethio
31 months ago

Thanks again Raymond, can feel the love from here! Xo

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Raymond Quiachon
31 months ago

Hi Samantha! My friend Jay Jackson turned me unto your labor of love. Jay was my neighbor while lived in San Marcos. I am filled with joy with your labor of love to help the indigenous kids of San Pedro. Wishing you all the best and success.

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