Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, ranking below its’ neighbors in terms of poverty levels, environmental degradation, economic opportunities and literacy rates.
Guatemala suffers from ongoing discrimination against an indigenous Mayan population, lacks proper health care, nutrition, economic opportunity and overall, has little educational progress.
This is the unsettling reality of Guatemala’s 36 year long civil war, where over 200,000 people were murdered and nearly 1.5 million were displaced from their homes from 1960 and 1996 by an internal economic elite.
While the civil war might be over, collateral damage from three decades of exploitation and oppression is continuing today, with over 60% of the population suffering from poverty and illiteracy. As a result, Guatemala is faced with a vicious cycle that oppresses the poor, preventing them from better opportunities to escape these hardships.
However, the non-profit, Avivara, works to empower children through education and as means of escaping poverty. Public education in Guatemala is free, but it is not mandatory, and incurs high costs of fees, books and uniforms. These setbacks make widespread education a challenge, but Avivara works to foster a culture of goodwill and collaboration to rise above the systemic poverty and violence.
The nonprofit mitigates expenses by providing accessible and affordable education, working closely with the local community, and collaborating with teachers, students and communities to ensure they are providing authentic support.
Avivara targets students from poor, rural families who wish to continue their education beyond 6th grade to junior high and beyond, developing and administering programs and providing funding to improve the quality of education. In addition, Avivara opens access to education by offering after school support for students whose parents are often uneducated and unable to support them.
Avivara works to improve the quality and access of education in Guatemala, but their service doesn’t end here.
They foster a sense of global interconnectedness, partnering between students in the United States and in Guatemala through their School-to-School Partnership Program. This program facilitates relationships between students in both countries by providing a channel to communicate with and learn from each other; gaining empathy and a global perspective.
Avivara is making an authentic impact, committing to their values of interconnectedness and empowerment by serving those in need, and connecting them to those with more privilege.
To learn more about Avivara, check out their page on the UniversalGiving Website.