Educate Guatemalan Girls & Women

Who are We?

Hi! We are Tracy Gates and Juan Wilson Sac . We are teachers from Vancouver, Canada and San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala. Tracy is a Vancouver school teacher with a Master's degree specializing in literacy in developing countries and Juan Wilson is a Spanish teacher specializing in high school English and Spanish. Juan Wilson and Tracy met while Tracy was studying Spanish in Guatemala. They began discussing some of the issues that exist in Guatemala such as politics, culture, poverty and especially, education. They also spoke about what could be done to address these issues,  and help the most marginalized members of the communities, women and girls. Those discussions resulted in the creation of Proyecto Maltioxinem

                                                                     (Juan Wilson is far right)

What is Proyecto Maltioxinem?
Proyecto Maltioxinem , or The Grateful Project  in the local Mayan language of Tzutujil, is an English language program for elementary school age girls and single mothers in the rural Mayan community of San Pedro la Laguna. Women in Guatemala, especially in rural communities like San Pedro la Laguna are expected to get married young, stay at home, take care of the children, husband and home, and because of this, girls and women are often excluded from educational opportunities and become financially dependent on their spouse. As tourism is one of the most important industries in the area, learning English is a skill that girls and single mothers can learn that will open doors to greater financial opportuntities and independence for themselves and their families. 
Our goal is to provide free English classes for girls and single mothers. This will provide an opportunity for mothers to gain an important skill that allows them to become more financially independent, encourages girls to stay in school, study English and improve their employment opportunities. 

We plan to introduce our program in stages.

Stage 1 (Summer 2018)
Provide 3 weeks of daily afternoon English classes to elementary school girls in financial need (taught by Tracy). 
Provide the girls with needed school supplies they would otherwise would not be able to buy to continue their public schooling.
Provide 3 weeks of daily evening English classes to single mothers (taught by Juan Wilson).
Organize a community advisory council to provide feedback for Stage 2.

Stage 2 (September 2018 - .....)
Continue to provide free afternoon English classes for elementary school girls 1-3 times weekly. 
Continue to provide needed school supplies.
Continue to provide free evening English classes for single mothers 1-3 times weekly.

How will the money be spent?
-rental of classroom space 
-teaching and learning supplies
-daily nutritious snacks for the girls
-hourly wage for local instructor to teach evening classes
-needed school supplies so girls can also attend local public school

Why Guatemala?
Guatemala is a country of great beauty and culture. It also has many social needs.
-overall poverty rates in San Pedro are 82%
-literacy rates for women in the area are only 56.8% (20 points below the literacy rates for men)
-enrollment rates for high school students in the area are only 22%
-the average woman in the area with no schooling has 5 children and 40% of births in the area were to women with no schooling.

Why girls and women?
-statistics show when women earn an income they reinvest 90% of their income in their families and communities
-an educated mother is more than 2x as likely to send her child to school
-girls with a high school education are 6x less likely to be married as children
-30% of girls in Guatemala are married by 18; 6% by age 15

Watch this video to see the home of one of the girls who will be attending our classes.

How can you help?
However, if you choose not to donate there are others ways to help.

1. Help us spread the word! Use this link to share on social media and email.

2. Donate easily transportable or digital English teaching materials. Stationary and other basic materials will be bought in San Pedro to support local businesses but English teaching supplies will be purchased in Canada and taken down.

3. Volunteer and help teach English at Proyecto Maltioxinem or just visit San Pedro  and support the local economy.

4. Give advice or help fundraise! If you have experience in fundraising or development work, we would love to hear your words of wisdom.

Thank you for taking an interest in Proyecto Maltioxinem. If you donate, you will receive updates on how the fundraising is going and how our summer of 2018 unfolds.
The issues surrounding poverty, gender, culture and education in rural Guatemala are complex and this page only provides a brief introduction. A Facebook page will be set up to provide updates on the project  with photos and videos, and more in-depth information on these topics if you wish to learn more.
Thank you for your support!

Juan Wilson and Tracy
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