Educate the Young, Train Leaders


Education and a good job go hand in hand in overcoming poverty. For the long term, education is the first step. In Guatemala there are thirteen Xela AID staff members who run the day-to-day activities of Xela AID’s seven Education Programs serving 19 communities in the San Martin Chile Verde area of the Guatemalan highlands. Here’s a snapshot:

San Martín Tots Preschool (ages 2-5)

Preschoolers often come to us malnourished. Our preschool serves more than 50 children each weekday who besides instruction, receive wholesome, high-nutrition foods throughout the day.

Montessori Test Salon (ages 2-5)

Xela AID is pioneering Montessori education in the rural “Area Mám,” one of Guatemala’s worst poverty belts. We’re doing this because children who speak only their native Mám when they start gradeschool have only a 1 in 10 chance of making it to the sixth grade. This preeminent teaching method aims to give them the headstart they need to be successful. You can help a child defeat poverty for as little as $10 a month by becoming a member of our Head Start Hero Club.

LEAP Scholarship Program (K-College)

This program matches youth who wish to realize their dreams through education with a Sponsor who wants to help—like you! This is not a giveaway. Young children commit to keeping their grades up, while teenagers “pay it forward” by tutoring other children a set number of hours each week. This program serves nearly 150 children.

Xela AID Study Center (all school-aged children)

Open each afternoon, our Study Center teacher helps an average of 30 young people each day who are struggling in one or more subjects. The Center also provides youngsters with a safe after-school gathering place and a supportive environment in which to prosper.

Leadership Training Program (ages 15-25)

Our leaders are 35 top-performing students from 19 schools in the region who commit to a two-year program of leadership skill-building and service to their community. Graduates commonly go on to take top positions in village government and local businesses. The program leader is also the government representative of all youth in the region. (Photo: Leaders take a break from a community service project building affordable housing.)

“Project Connect” Computer Lab (12-Adult)

A partnership with Rotary Clubs, Districts and The Rotary Foundation and the only internet-connected computer lab for students within a 25-mile radius, this state-of-the art lab is gives students the chance to learn computing for real, not just in “theory” which has been the norm. Students from local schools arrive to receive lessons weekly. The lab is connecting hundreds of youth with the outside world while providing an exceptional space for learning. In addition, teachers are receiving advanced training to improve their online and classroom competency, and workshops are held for parents to introduce them to the important concept of online learning.

Adult Literacy Program

This program serves approximately 35 adult women each week who are becoming self-reliant and building their self-esteem by learning to read and write, to sew and build other marketable skills.