Fall Fiesta: Ready for another Record-Breaking Year?

May 19th, 2017

Nonprofit event invitation

You blew us all away at last year’s Fall Fiesta by raising nearly $170,000 for CoEd’s educational programs in Guatemala. That’s right, $170,000. And we know that we can do it again this year! Read the rest of this entry »

CoEd Staff Share Their Essential Guatemala Travel Items

May 19th, 2017

Ever wondered what our seasoned, Guatemala-trotting staff make sure to always pack when they head to the Land of Eternal Spring? This month we took a survey to find out. Check out our favorite travel items and get excited for your next (or first!) Guatemalan adventure.

(Psst—We’ve got three summer tours for you, but they’re filling up fast! Better sign up quick.)

Guatemala Volunteer Travel

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Dora María Cardenas Figueroa: A Classroom Transformed

May 19th, 2017
Guatemalan primary school reading program

Dora María and her student Antony

Before the Culture of Reading Program (CORP) arrived at Agua Dulce school, Dora María’s classroom looked like most other first- and second-grade classrooms in rural Guatemala. There were no storybooks, just a whiteboard and some markers. Dora María used the teaching techniques she had learned while studying teaching in high school, which is all the training that is required of primary school teachers in Guatemala. “They would just copy and copy and copy,” she says.

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Santa Lucia: A School of Poets

May 19th, 2017

In February, 31 volunteers travelled to Guatemala with us and helped Santa Lucía middle school celebrate the inauguration of their Textbook Program.

It was a momentous occasion, filled with sunshine, laughter, music, dancing, and some very important words spoken by leaders of the local community. Today we’d like to share what they said with you! We’re convinced that this is a school full of poets, because their words on the importance of education were dazzling. Take it all in—these words were meant for YOU!

“Where there is education, there are no classes.”

Guatemala textbook program middle school

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On Sponsors and Students: “You Are Important to Me”

April 17th, 2017

When Rebecca Wilks went on her first CoEd tour in 2007, she never imagined that she and her husband Marco would end up changing a young person’s life—and being changed by her in return. But as she ate lunch with a friend and the two Scholarship Program students that her friend was sponsoring, she knew she had to become a sponsor too: “I was so impressed with these two, and with the program in general, that I persuaded my husband that we should participate.”

A short while later, Rebecca and Marco met Florentina Taquez (Flor) for the first time. “She was twelve and painfully quiet, yet she had a steadfast determination,” Rebecca wrote in a blog post about their relationship with Flor.

Guatemala charity sponsor student

Flor, soon after she began the program.

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Cande Daniela: On the Path to Healing

April 17th, 2017

Guatemala computer student

“The computer will be a tool I can use to defend myself against any problems I face.”

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Introducing: The Heritage Tour!

April 17th, 2017

Guatemala adoption family travel

Guess what, everyone? This summer we’ll be piloting a NEW KIND OF TOUR to Guatemala and we are SO EXCITED for our first run! In our 20 years of leading trips to Guatemala, we’ve had plenty of adoptive families on board, but we are thrilled to now offer these families a special tour designed just for them. Our new Heritage Tour will offer families and individuals who are connected to Guatemala through adoption a unique opportunity to reconnect with the country alongside other families that are doing the same.

sign-me-up

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The Thousand Girls Initiative Turns One

April 17th, 2017

Happy 1-year anniversary!

On April 1, 2016, we officially launched the Thousand Girls Initiative, a massive expansion of our Scholarship & Youth Development Program that will help 1,000 young Guatemalan women avoid an all too common fate: dropping out of school after the 6th grade. Instead, these young women will join the Scholarship Program, be matched with sponsors like you, and step confidently on the path toward graduation and a brighter future.

What do you say we check our progress?

When we started last year, the Scholarship Program was serving 3 communities, and 288 students were either in the program or poised to join it. Now?

Guatemala high school scholarship program

© Rebecca Wilks, Skyline Images

Guatemala high school scholarship program

Guatemala high school scholarship program

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Small Business Spotlight

March 16th, 2017

CoEd supporters are the greatest. You’re generous, kind, silly, adventurous, compassionate, and a little competitive, too. (We’re talking about you, Rick and Rich!) Each of you has a story of what motivates you to help students in Guatemala and it gives us great pleasure to learn them. As we reflect (and celebrate you!) during Supporter Appreciation Month, we’ve been struck at how many among you are small business owners.

Owning your own business has always been part of the proverbial “American Dream”. And what often happens when that business begins to see success? Greed takes over and profit becomes king, right? Not for these businesses. They are using their success and entrepreneurial spirit to make a positive impact in the world.  We’re continually surprised by the out-of-the-box ways that you find to help children in Guatemala get a better education and overcome poverty, and we want to highlight a few business owners who inspire us.

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Education Center Dedication

March 16th, 2017

“It was just like a wedding. You look out and you see all these people who you love and who have meant so much to you over the years.” —Joe Berninger

CoEd-2017-Ed-Center-Inauguration-060

It really was a special experience to dedicate the new education center with so many of you last month. Per the norm, Joe found the exact words to express what we are all feeling. Twice now we’ve gotten to celebrate the opening of our new Education Center with the folks who’ve made it possible for such a space to become a reality: the building’s benefactors, new friends and long-time supporters, Rotarians from the US, Canada, Guatemala, and the Cayman Islands, local business leaders and government officials, teachers, principals and students who make the work of education a reality every day, and even Jeff and Joe’s mom! Whew! Did we cover everyone? What a joy it was to celebrate the accomplishments of the last twenty years with you. Read the rest of this entry »