Children admire adults (and teenagers) like we’re superheros, making it possible for volunteers of all ages to have an amazing impact on a child’s life by simply being a positive influence.
In 1996, after witnessing firsthand the connection between Guatemala’s poverty and its staggering illiteracy rates, brothers Jeff and Joe Berninger founded Cooperative for Education (CoEd) to “address the root causes of poverty in Guatemala rather than treating its symptoms.” Based out of Guatemala City and Cincinnati, Ohio, CoEd has now served more than 32,000 Mayan youth with textbook programs, 15,000 with computer centers and 9,000 with mini-libraries, 1,500 with literacy advancement programs and 160 with scholarships.
Seeing CoEd in action during the snapshot tour, Beth and I were extremely impressed with the work the non-profit is doing (and has done) with progressing literacy in Guatemalan schools. Being on a CoEd snapshot tour is a fantastic way to see the hotspots of Guatemala–Antigua, ChiChi, Lake Atitlan–while stepping into rural spaces, the schools and homes, that would be next to impossible to visit on your own if you were just backpacking or taking a holiday in Guatemala. CoEd does an amazing job of creating a meaningful tour that is fun as well as educational. Outside of your airfare, everything is taken care of for your trip–accommodations, dinning and transportation–giving participants of all ages the chance to explore Guatemala in a safe environment while getting an up close view of the education system and the people–children, parents, educators and CoEd workers–being the change that they want to see. Beth and I were so moved by the work that CoEd is doing and by the drive and desire from the teachers, students and children that we have decided to raise $2,000 to bring to new computer workstations to the Panajxit Cooperative School
We love everything that CoEd is doing for the school children and future of Guatemala, including its innovative Culture of Reading Program (CORP), which focuses on training primary-school teachers in effective instruction as well as providing them with high-quality children’s books to facilitate reading in the classroom. We got to see CORP in action and meet Carolyn Johnson, an education consultant with CoEd who has helped spearhead the program, and were blown away by the quality of instruction and interaction going on between the students and teachers. Currently, 157 teachers in 20 rural elementary schools have been trained and 3,334 children reading and writing every day in CORP classrooms.
While we are going to do our best to make sure we meet out goal, Beth and I know that we can’t do it alone and hope that you’ll help us help the wonderful children of Guatemala out any way that you can whether it’s by making a donation, going on your own snapshot tour or just sharing our stories with your friends, family & coworkers.
In fact, if you like the Guatemala inspired posters we posted above, please feel free to share them!
Thank you so much for your support and for believing in everything that we have been trying to do.
Happy Friday! We’ll leave you to start the weekend with a quote that is not only one of our favorites but a motto that we try to live by each day…
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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