Guatemala – Bilingual Education

Project: Bilingual Education And School Construction In Comitancillo, Guatemala
Project Partners: The Association of Mayan-Mam Research and Development (AMMID)

AMMID was founded in 1992 and runs programming in four areas: agroecology, women’s programs, health, and education. The organization functions as a centre for training, research, and community programs to promote development of the municipality of Comitanciallo, San Marcos. In the community of La Vega in the Comitancillo area of Guatemala’s western highlands – home to the Maya Mam indigenous people- only three out of every ten children have access to formal education. The children that have the opportunity to attend classes struggle with a curriculum that excludes their indigenous culture and language.

CFCA has been working with AMMID for approximately 10 years, supporting their work with indigenous communities (and women and children in particular) in Comitancillo.

Two schools have been built so far, a third has just been approved by Wild Rose Foundation. The schools in Comitancillo are built in communities that do not have their own school (or, since Hurricane Stan, where the schools have been destroyed). They enable children who were previously walking great distances to attend school or who were simply not attending to go to school in their communities. They are 4 classroom schools where instruction is offered in Spanish as well as in the local indigenous language. The indigenous communities of Comitancillo have low levels of literacy and high rates of school drop out, therefore, offering schooling within their communities and in their own language is important to addressing the educational needs of these communities.

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