Research + Action in Guatemala

As many of you know, I will be returning to Guatemala in July to continue the work I started as an undergrad at Cottey College and Bennington College. As a very recent graduate, I have the incredible opportunity to go to Guatemala to think and act with others to address the huge issue of unequal access to quality education in Guatemala. Over the past four years, I have met a network of talented teachers, artists, and thought leaders in Guatemala who have great insight into this problem. Together with this diverse collective of people, I will be looking at scalable solutions to the issues present in rural Guatemalan schools.  What I have to offer primarily is the gift of my time, my insight from an external perspective (that also has half a life of experience learning in and about Guatemala), and my capacity to connect people, record ideas, and gather information that will support the work of this collective.

What exactly will I be doing there?
1. Visiting the Hogar Rafael Ayau orphanage/monastary my younger sisters were adopted from to help run a two week youth camp and do grounds work at their new location.
2. Working one-on-one with my host sister who has learning and health challenges to help her get on grade level (and developing tools to train others to work with others in similar situations).
3. Researching strategies for improving educational quality in rural villages with limited resources (with a team of Guatemalan advisors).
4. Continuing to work on promoting secondary educational opportunities for youth in the rural village of Chwitzurib'al.
5. Connecting with NGO and non-profits doing similar or related work across the country to collaborate and learn from each other.

How am I contributing financially to this trip?
1. Selling anything of substantial value that I own but do not need (ie. car, bed, electronics, etc).
2. Saving money (I work full time but school, gas, food, and car repairs take a lot of cash)
3. I'm applying for paid work in the region where I'll be living to support myself, though paid jobs for foreigners are somewhat hard to get. Though this is tricky as it will detract time from other work, but make the trip less expensive.
4. I'll will likely teaching private English classes on the side to help support myself.

Why should you support me?
I'm taking a leap of faith to dedicate the next year to work full time on a huge problem in the world: lack of access to quality education for the rural poor. Over the past four years, I have been working from a distance to research, think, and act on this issue (and also locally on similar issues here in the US ). However, I believe that with my being physically present in Guatemala the collaborative projects that I have been working on will be able to expand to have an exponentially larger impact.

How else can you support me?
Prayers, hugs, and sharing this fundraising page (in that order).
Donating frequent flier miles for my trip home for Christmas.

Thank you so much for prayerfully and thoughtfully considering supporting me on this trip of a lifetime!
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Caitlyn Davis 
Cincinnati, OH
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