Project #234 | Holistic Education for Indigenous Maya Ixil Youth

Our Partnership with Limitless Horizons Ixil

The indigenous town of Chajul was devastated by Guatemala’s 36-year civil war. Targeted violence amounted to genocide and left the community as one of the poorest in the country—a status it retains to this day. With the majority engaged in subsistence farming, 93% of Chajul’s Maya Ixil residents live in poverty and 41% in extreme poverty. Currently, less than a quarter of students complete middle school and only 4% graduate from high school. Girls in particular face significant barriers to education and most drop out after primary school to adopt a woman’s traditional role in the home. If poor families can afford to send a child to school, they invariably choose the eldest son. Girls who are able to attend school struggle with poor educational resources, limited Spanish language skills (as Ixil is their primary language), and their own parents’ illiteracy, leading to low rates of educational attainment and success. Safety is also a daily concern for girls, with sexual and emotional abuse much too common in local schools. 

One Day’s Wages partnered with Limitless Horizons Ixil to launch Colegio Horizontes, a secondary school unlike any other in rural Guatemala, that provides a holistic education for indigenous Maya Ixil youth and capacity building for local teachers. Our partnership enabled the school to welcome its first class of seventh graders, comprised of 17 girls and 7 boys. The school offered engaging academics, youth development, mentoring and family programs, plus two nutritious meals a day.  As a result, the average daily attendance rate was 98% and 89% of students demonstrated improvements in their social and emotional skills!

Our Collective Impact

Students & Teachers Supported

% of Students on Track Academically

Parents Trained to Better Support Students

Meet Estefany

Growing up with a single mom, Estefany was always taught the importance of going to school. Her mom instilled in her responsibility for arriving at school on time and completing her homework assignments. During the School Preparation Program, Estefany’s proudest moment was when she spoke up, to voice her ideas and thoughts with the entire class. When asked what she was most excited about when school started, Estefany shared, “I am excited to learn a lot during a full-day of school. I think that going to Colegio Horizontes will help me to develop my skills, and I’m excited to share with the new friends I made during the School Preparation Program.”

Thank you for making this possible!

Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.

If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our education fund.

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