Alternative Gift: Scholarship Fund
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Manufacturer: Advanced Guatemalan Educational Support Foundation
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Panajachel Colegio Internacional (PCI) is a unique and important non-profit school in the Lake Atitlan region of the western highlands of Guatemala. I have had the pleasure of serving as the board president of this wonderful school for the past eleven months. My partner Dan previously worked at the school for over four years, teaching math, science, and technology, including robotics and Advanced Placement Physics and Calculus.
PCI is the best junior and senior high school in the Lake Atitlan area. When PCI started seven years ago, it served mainly expat families who could pay full tuition. Now almost 95% of the 70-student population is Guatemalan, and more than 75% of these are indigenous.
PCI provides a trilingual (English, Spanish, and Kaqchikel) education. For those entering without sufficient English, PCI has a full-time ten-month English Language Learning program. Core classes (English, math, science and social studies) are co-taught by a native English-speaking teacher and a Guatemalan teacher. Students receive extra help as needed after school. The student:faculty ratio is less than 6:1. Class size is from 5 to 15 students. (Most Guatemalan schools have classes of 35-55 students.) The school day is from 8:30am-4pm, compared to the standard five-hour Guatemalan school day.
PCI graduates attend universities in Guatemala, other countries in Central America, Europe, Canada and the U.S. They study medicine, law, engineering, environmental sciences, biochemistry, public health, astrophysics, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, finance, economics, and more.
Last year the school funded over $40,000 in scholarships, directly out of its operating income. This year 65% of our students receive full or partial scholarships, totaling $60,000.
This year we visited dozens of families’ homes as part of our process of awarding scholarships. A number of families had all but given up on their straight-A student being able to continue in school, let alone attend an excellent school. We awarded full scholarships to deserving children whose parents do day labor, earning $5 per day when work is available. Without this support, these children would have dropped out of school after sixth grade and gone to work in the fields to help support their families. Instead, these students will continue with their studies and make a real difference in their families and their communities.
100% of your contribution goes toward scholarships.
And visit the PCI website to find out more.
By supporting PCI, you are helping to:
- break the cycle of poverty
- empower indigenous communities
- educate Maya youth to be tomorrow’s leaders
- sustain a challenging multi-cultural learning environment
This year’s fundraising goal is $60,000.Click HERE to donate.
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