girls education Latin America

Indigenous girls like Tiofila Sofía Monroy Tunché are at the very bottom of the social and economic hierarchy from the time they are born. Because of a cultural notion that girls aren’t worth educating, many Guatemalan girls face a life of poverty, discrimination, and illiteracy. More than half are married by age 18, and less than one in ten girls graduate from high school.

Tiofila had big dreams: to get a degree in computers, find work, and earn enough money to support her mother. But since most of her nine siblings dropped out of school before completing sixth grade, her odds of completing a degree seemed very slim. Without the proper education and experience, Tiofila would never be able to accomplish her dream.

But luckily, Tiofila was able to forge her own path. CoEd’s Rise Youth Development Program gave her the support she needed to graduate with a degree in computers! Thanks to CoEd’s program and donors like you, Tiofila is now living her dream, and has been for the past three years. Now she teaches at her town’s elementary school, just one of the many ways Tiofila is using her degree to serve.

When her cousin was diagnosed with cancer, Tiofila saw a need in her community for basic medical care. She continued her studies even further by training to become a nursing assistant, and now she offers care to people in her community, allowing them to pay whatever they can. She does this work as a service to her community, because she really values living “in solidarity with others—giving without expecting anything back.”

Tiofila even has a leadership role on a local committee that oversees elections. She attributes her educational attainment and social involvement to her time in the Rise Program, saying, “It was a blessing—the gift of my life to discover that I can become the person I want to be.”

Tiofila’s story is so special to us at CoEd, because she is living proof that education transforms the lives of individuals and communities! There are hundreds of students waiting to begin their stories in the Rise Youth Development Program. Want to join in the life-changing work that happens through this program? Sponsor a student today!