Creating Opportunities for Guatemalans is dedicated to educating children in poverty as a means to a better future. We work in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, a Kaqchikel Maya community located in Sacatepéquez. Many parents in our community have only a primary school education; some are illiterate. Their lack of education constrains them to low-income jobs and makes the basic costs of their children’s education unaffordable. Parents are unable to help their children with their homework, meaning the children often lack the necessary support to be able to succeed at school. Poverty also results in poorer health for these parents and their children.
Creating Opportunities for Guatemalans was founded in 2014 and is run by Vicki Horsfield, Executive Director, from Canada and William Garcia, Assistant Director, from Guatemala.
Vicki first came to Guatemala in 2012 and fell in love with a country she had not known much about. Seeing the extreme poverty resulting from the 36-year civil war, she decided to move to Guatemala permanently. After working with several NGOs, she and William decided to start Creating Opportunities for Guatemalan. William himself grew up in poverty in Guatemala and was sponsored as a child to attend school. He is a living testament to the importance of child sponsorship in Guatemala. Our organization is devoted to bringing hope to Guatemalans for a better future.
To empower Guatemalans to break out of the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient as a result of receiving an education.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Who does Creating Opportunities for Guatemalans help?
Our focus is on children living in poverty who are not in school or who are at risk of dropping out of school because their families do not have sufficient resources to pay the costs of going to school.
2. What are the primary and secondary needs of the organization?
Our primary need is finding sponsors to cover the necessary costs for keeping a child in school. Sponsorships cover the costs of a uniform, school materials, school fees, transportation if required, and medicine if the child falls sick. Our secondary needs are providing excellent after-school support to ensure the child is learning. In our after-school program, teachers supervise homework, provide additional math support, teach the children English, and teach them to love reading through our reading program and growing library. We provide English lessons because English is a necessary skill in Guatemala's competitive job market.
3. Where does my money go?
Donations sponsor children to stay in school. Donations are also used to carry out our after-school support program, our nutrition program, and our vocational programs. They also allow us to grow our library, which is open to the community. Donations to the Jackie Griffin Memorial Fund contribute to post-secondary education for our graduating students.
4. Why believe in Creating Opportunities for Guatemalans?
Because of wonderful donors, our organization is currently keeping over 50 students in school who would otherwise be unable to continue studying. Our students get excellent grades in school due to our after-school support program. Some have even received 100% in mathematics, which is almost unheard of in Guatemala. Several former graduates are now enjoying successful careers. Some of our students are now studying in university. Our high school students receive high marks in their science-based programs and have ambitions to attend university. All of our students take home marks above 70%.
5. What other ways may people support Creating Opportunities for Guatemalans?
Volunteers are very important to our organization and to the success of our students. People volunteer their time to teach math, facilitate our reading program, teach English, run our adult vocational programs, and to make physical improvements on our families' homes. People donate books to our library, clothing to our families, funds to our food distribution program, or tools and equipment to our vocational programs. Even the smallest of gestures can make a difference in the lives of our families, and any generosity is appreciated.