Posts Tagged ‘textbooks’

Our Newest Textbook Program Teachers Sound Off

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

This year our Textbook Program expanded to 16 new middle schools in the regions of El Quiché, Chimaltenango, Sacatepéquez, Quetzaltenango, Totonicapán, and Sololá. In June we surveyed the teachers at these schools to get their thoughts on how the program has begun to affect their teaching and their students. We were so excited by what they said, and you deserve to hear it! This is what your support is accomplishing in Guatemala:

What differences do you see as a teacher now that you have textbooks and training, compared to when you didn’t?


CoEd2016_AugSnap_Courtney-417 (more…)

CoEd Honored by Long-Time Textbook Program Community

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

On September 1st, nearly 300 people gathered in the town of Santiago Sacatepéquez to watch as Guatemala’s Ministry of Education bestowed its Merit of Honor Award on one worthy institution in the region of Sacatepéquez—and that institution was CoEd! According to our General Director of Operations, Rony, “the principals and teachers of the region proposed CoEd to be the recipient” of the award “thanks to its long and sustainable relationship with several schools in the Santiago Sacatepéquez municipality.”



The Moment of Inspiration

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to start your own nonprofit organization and grow it successfully for 20 years? In celebration of our 20th anniversary, one of our newest staff members sat down to interview the brothers who started it all. Stay tuned through this blog series to learn what kept Jeff in Guatemala, what mom and dad said when their boys switched from corporate to nonprofit, and why Jeff running over a chicken is one of Joe’s favorite moments in CoEd history.

Listen podcast-style to the snippet below or scroll down to read the full transcript for part 1. (Scroll down regardless to see some excellent throwback photos.)

Note: If you’re on mobile and don’t want to listen in the SoundCloud app, click “Listen in browser.”


20 Years Later—Are Textbooks Still Relevant?

Thursday, June 16th, 2016


We’ve done a lot together in 20 years, CoEd supporters! Lately, as you know, we’ve been pretty jazzed about our sixfold expansion of the Scholarship & Youth Development Program. We’re also re-engineering and expanding CORP, preparing for the grand opening of our new Education Center, and working on a stupendous Early Childhood Development collaboration.

With the excitement of all of these new projects (not to mention the increasingly important role of technology like e-readers and tablets across the globe), it can be natural to wonder: Are textbooks still relevant?

Well, according to the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in January, YES. (more…)

Edgar Elías Colop: Receiving the Gift of Education

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Two days after Edgar Elías Colop’s 15th birthday, he received an unlikely gift—textbooks from complete strangers. Like all of his fellow ninth-graders at Parracaná Cooperative School in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, Edgar had never used textbooks in class until the CoEd Textbook Program arrived and changed everything. Edgar and his classmates now get to study with math, social studies, Spanish, and science textbooks for a small monthly fee that goes into a revolving fund managed by CoEd. After five years, enough money will be saved to begin purchasing new books, making the Textbook Program 100% sustainable after the initial investment.


Edgar shows off the book he’s most excited to use.

“My favorite subject is math,” says Edgar, flipping excitedly through the pages of a brand new book. Edgar has wanted to be an engineer ever since his mother told him all about it when he was little. (more…)

Guatemala Field Report: Mario Yac Discusses the Textbook Program

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
Maria del Carmen classroom

Recent classroom scene at Maria del Carmen

Mario Yac, one of the Textbook Program’s fearless leaders, shares some valuable insight regarding one of the schools that entered the program this year. We visited Maria del Carmen on the February Snapshot tour, and the best word to describe the school would be… timid. The community as a whole was very shy and it was hard to get parents and students to participate in the inauguration ceremony. Knowing that cultural background makes Mario’s recent observations at the school incredibly interesting

Before CoEd came to Maria del Carmen, the students were so timid; the teachers would ask questions and no one would respond. I spoke with the teachers regarding this and everyone agreed that it was because the majority of students speak the indigenous language of Quiché and so it was difficult for them to express themselves in Spanish. I wasn’t convinced.

Diego Set Cuc: Friendship Through Generosity

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
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Diego proudly displays the textbook that will help him achieve his dreams.

The enormous toothy grin he wears from ear to ear gives him away—Diego Set Cuc is thrilled. Today Cooperative for Education and the Guatemala Literacy Project is delivering all-new textbooks to Chumanzana Cooperative School in Chichicastenango, Guatemala, where Diego is in the eighth grade. Today is a good day.

“This is my first time using books in class,” Diego says, “and my first time meeting people from North America!” He is amazed that people would come so far to visit his school, saying, “It is incredible for you to travel all this way, and for me to have the opportunity to learn more about the United States and Canada.” (more…)

Carlos Pu: Following His Dreams, Inspiring His Family

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Carlos Francisco Pu and brother Edwin4

Through Cooperative for Education’s sustainable Textbook Program, Carlos’ (right) contributions to his school’s revolving fund helped buy brand new textbooks for his younger brother Edwin (left).

In 2008, thirteen-year-old Carlos Francisco Pu was surrounded by books on a daily basis. In fact, he helped produce them at a printing company near his hometown of Choquí, Quetzaltenango. Yet, when he returned home every night, his shelves were empty. But at Choquí School, where he attended seventh grade, Carlos experienced a whole new world through the textbooks CoEd had provided just two years earlier.

“I was so excited to use the new textbooks. I wanted to absorb everything in them, but my reading skills were not great,” Carlos says shyly. “So, I spent my free time practicing and becoming more literate, in order to absorb every bit of the information.”

This is especially noteworthy, considering how little “free time” Carlos actually had. His childhood was cut short when Carlos’ father abandoned the family. His mother was illiterate and could only find work as a maid. Unfortunately, her meager wages were not enough to provide the basics for Carlos and his little sister and brother. So he and his brother, Edwin, took jobs to help. Edwin dropped out of school to concentrate on working, but Carlos was determined to both work and continue his education. He attended school in the mornings and worked at the printing company in the afternoons and evenings, poring over his schoolbooks late into the night.

“The books provided a tremendous benefit for me with my homework,” Carlos says. “Rather than being limited by what the teacher dictated in class, with the books, I could always look ahead and have an idea what the next theme would be.”

Although it was often a struggle, Carlos’ commitment to his education remained strong. Four years later, Carlos graduated from middle school and was in 11th grade in a college preparatory program when we talked with him. He loves math, and hopes to attend university to study civil engineering. “With a job as a civil engineer, I can make a better life for my family,” he says.

Carlos Francisco Pu
But Carlos is already creating a better life for them. Inspired by his success, his mom recently started school as a first grader. She attends classes and completes her assignments every evening after work. His younger brother, Edwin, also returned to school as a sixteen-year-old seventh grader and is benefiting from CoEd’s Textbook Program. Carlos has shown them that education is worth the effort, even when it means studying with a group of much younger students.

Carlos remarks proudly, “When I first started participating in the Textbook Program, (CoEd staff) told me that the user fees I paid ensured that younger kids like my brother would have books too when they came to middle school. I was skeptical, but now Edwin gets to use a brand new set of books because of the contributions my classmates and I made. The system really does work!”

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Through CoEd’s innovative revolving fund process, small student contributions allow schools to save money to replace books as they wear out. This means that future students just like Edwin and Carlos will continue to benefit from textbooks for years to come.

Edwin and Carlos smile ear to ear as they huddle around Edwin’s new science text, thumbing through the pages and pointing out the pictures and diagrams. Carlos’ maturity and level of responsibility belie his tender age of seventeen. But when asked what word he would use to describe the books, his personality and youth shine through. “Cool,” he says with a smile.

In class coaching for teachers in Guatemala

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Below is an excerpt from the Second Quarter report. You can read the full report here

Today at La Colina Middle School in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, you could peek into a classroom to see students working together in groups, pouring over their textbooks. You’d see them discussing the material animatedly with their peers and jotting down ideas in their notebooks.

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Students at Colegio Intervida show off their brand new CoEd textbooks. Thanks to the Textbook Program’s enhanced teacher training component, the books will become the core of an interactive, student-oriented classroom. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, 2014.

Outside, you might see the math class students lining up on the basketball court, each one taking the place of a positive or negative number in a number line. A flurry of activity suddenly descends on the court as their teacher, Cristian, instructs the students to find and change places with the peer who shares their absolute values. (more…)

Cindy Marroquín: Dreaming with Confidence

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
As we celebrate the focus on girls education thanks to Malala Day, Girl Rising, and other amazing efforts to educate girls around the world, we wanted to bring you the story of Cindy Marroquin, a girl excited about her education in Guatemala.


I need three volunteers,” said Mario Yac,  manager of Cooperative for Education (CoEd)’s Textbook Program. Quickly, three adolescent boys bounded over to him, prepared for whatever might come next… or so they thought.

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It was the inauguration of CoEd’s Textbook Program at Agua Viva School in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Mario had just finished telling the students how the program would work and wanted to see if they had been paying attention. He asked the boys to recite the three main points of his presentation. Stage fright set in, and none of them was able to respond correctly.


They sat down, and two more boys took the stage. This time, they were joined by a girl—Cindy Marroquín. Cindy was beautiful and poised as she waited patiently, her braids falling neatly on her hand-woven Mayan blouse. The first boy was able to remember just one of the three points. The next boy didn’t remember any of them.


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Then it was Cindy’s turn. She quietly but confidently stepped up to the microphone and recited all three points without breaking a sweat: take care of the books, contribute the rental fee, and return the books at the end of the year. Everyone cheered—including Cindy, who threw her arms into the air in celebration. 


She inspired the spectators not just because she knew the answers, but because her self-assuredness was undeniable. Cindy wants to be a bilingual doctor, which isn’t a surprising dream for someone so intelligent and driven. However, her determination to reach her goals doesn’t mean it will be an easy road. She struggles every day to balance her studies with her many responsibilities at home.


Neither of her parents can read, so their employment options are limited. Her father is a migrant farmer and her mother works as a maid in Guatemala City, only coming home on Sundays. This leaves Cindy to act as a mother to her two younger brothers, ages six and ten. While her parents are at work, Cindy is in charge of everything—making the tortillas, fixing the meals, keeping the house clean, and caring for her younger siblings. And she does it all while keeping up in school and never wavering from her goals.

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As Cindy told her story, she never complained or seemed bitter. She simply said, “I’m glad I can make my parents proud.” She went on to say that what makes them proudest is her desire to continue her education. “That is why they work so hard,” she says. “To make sure that my brothers and I have a chance at a better life.”


Now that Cindy’s school has textbooks, she is one step closer to achieving her dreams and the dreams of her parents. “I am most excited about the science book,” she said. “Now I can learn more about the human body and see pictures of how the systems work.”


As the CoEd tour participants walked away after the inauguration ceremony, Cindy ran up and said in her best English, “Thank you very much for coming here. Thank you very much for helping me.” She again smiled confidently, and the look in her eyes said, ‘Nothing will stop me.’


And thanks to your help, nothing ever will.