The public school system in Guatemala leaves much to be desired. Teachers, in general, have only the equivalent of a high school degree. There is also a heavy emphasis on crafts and not academic learning, with most public schools underfunded and understaffed. Those with any money at all, send their children to private school. This is not practical for children growing up in the more remote communities that we serve.
Just recently Guatemala implemented “free” public school education for all children in the primary grades. While it is low-cost, school is not mandatory in Guatemala and many children do not attend. There can be a lack of motivation on the child’s or parents’ part because the child must often work to supplement the family income or sometimes because there is no value seen in education. It is just in the last decade that there has been a gradual shift in the importance placed on education by the Mayan Indians.
Where Casa de Sion comes in:
It is no surprise that the local teachers report a significant performance difference in the children that attend our programs, and our pediatrician reports a noticeable improvement in general health. Besides being a fuel for mind and body, these healthy meals also teach the children what proper nutrition looks like and broadens their outlook on eating.
Photo Gallery of After-School Feeding & Tutorial Program