Lake Atitlan Guatemala – Cooperativa Spanish School
Pro-active Community Involvement
The teachers of the Cooperativa are all local to San Pedro and are well aware of the social and economic needs of the community. With the inception of their school they realized that some support from them could greatly benefit the community, so they have created three development programs within San Pedro. The first of these is an outreach program that involves twenty-two families in San Pedro. It is the responsibility of each teacher to research and appoint families for the involvement in this program and qualification is based on the extent of the family’s need. All of the families involved are marginalized through physical disability or severe economic hardship. Regular visits are made by the teachers, during which the families are provided with goods to satisfy their basic needs, such as rice, beans, eggs, sugar and soap. Students are invited, but not required, to make these visits with their teachers.
Along with helping to feed impoverished families the Cooperativa has begun an ambitious housing project. The school picks one family from amongst the most in need and constructs small, but sound, houses for them to live in. The project is funded entirely by students donations and donations from people interested in direct aid projects. All monies donated go directly to construction cost, there is zero pulled out for administration. Below is a short video of the current candidate family.
The Cooperativa also runs a development support project in a local elementary school that is insufficiently funded. The project is called “Ayudame a Tener Una Education Integral” or Help Me Get an Integral Education. The program attempts to provide an opportunity for education in the arts, music and physical fitness to children who would otherwise have no exposure to these important cultural influences.
While you are a student at the Cooperativa you will have the opportunity to be directly involved with our efforts. You can choose to help with the purchasing and delivery of direct aid for families. We are also seeking volunteers to assist in the classroom teaching language courses. These volunteers MUST commit to a minimum of 2 months teaching a foreign language.
The Cooperativa provides school time snacks for the children and continually collects school supplies on their behalf. Its ultimate ambition with regard to the elementary school is to employ two full time teachers. The annual cost per teacher is a mere $3,000 US.
The Cooperativa uses money from course fees to support these projects. Donations in any form are always welcome. The school never uses donated monies for administration or other non direct aid purposes.