In Guatemala today, only 42% of rural children finish primary school, the average length of study being only 3.5 years. The indigenous, particularly girls, have the least access to education. Guatemala spends a smaller percentage of its GDP on education than does any other Latin American or Caribbean country, resulting in fewer literate people ages 15-24 than anywhere else in the region.
The same months in 2010 in which GHA was conceived, tropical storms stalled over the highlands of Guatemala, over-saturating the precipitous slopes. In San Pedro La Laguna, on the south side of Lago de Atitlán, many homes were destroyed by mudslides. Families with few resources to begin with, were left with nothing. Following a plea from concerned people in the community, founding members of GHA created scholarships which allowed the 14 children left homeless to attend school. Now during the 2017 school year, GHA is happy to sponsor 65 students, including 7 in college.
In Guatemala, GHA is locally known as Construyendo Alianzas...Building Alliances. It is in this spirit, having been asked by the community, that we have opted to include scholarships as part of our mission. We are in high hopes of expanding this program each year.