Carol Cain experienced extreme poverty as a child. Years later, she came on tour with us as a professional travel blogger (that’s right, we’re talking about the fabulous Girl Gone Travel) and saw the effect that our Scholarship and Youth Development Program has on young women in Guatemala.
Reflecting on the impact of education in her own childhood, Carol says:
“I can say that the thing that always gave me hope and ambition was the promise I had of an education. Whatever might have been limited in my childhood, education was not one of these things. There was always someone in my life willing and able to make sure I went to school. That changes everything. How we dream, how we aspire, how we grow, how we think, and how we live. It only takes one person to change the life of another and their future generations.”
But that’s not all Carol had to say. She has words to share with you about our Thousand Girls Initiative and why you should totally Sponsor a Girl Right Now. Interested? Read the rest of our interview below.
Why is educating girls something that’s important to you?
Studies have shown that a girl’s education is something that not only benefits her personally, but also her children and her community, which in turn helps to improve economic growth. I am the first female in my family to go to and finish college. There is a difference in the direction education took me and the opportunities it provided me, which my children now benefit from. Education is the only way to fight against the gender gaps that exist in so many areas of a woman’s life, both personal and professional. Education not only raises awareness but also the confidence to fight against these barriers and end the cycles that prevent entire communities from moving forward.
You have traveled widely and I can only imagine, have seen so much beauty and so much of the daily struggle of life in various parts of the world. So what stands out to you about Guatemala and how does that call to you to help?
As a Latina (my family is from the Dominican Republic), I can relate to a lot of the issues faced by the people of Guatemala. Poverty, corruption, social inequality — these are all things that I have seen affect my own country and family. But it isn’t what defines the people, the communities, or the culture. There is a cultural richness, a pride for history and heritage that is celebrated and from which we can all learn. We see it in the colors, the foods, and the people we meet. Guatemala is beautiful and interesting in this way.
So many organizations educate students in the developing world – why choose CoEd?
One of the things that most impressed me about CoEd is how it empowers members of the community in which they are in to become leaders and mentors to their own. People underestimate the power of having someone with whom you can identify with and relate with as the one who teaches you, speaks to you, motivates you, and leads by example. There is a lot of great work done by all the team members of CoEd, but this consideration to give the community the skills to educate and take care of their own is one of the best approaches I have seen in programs like these.
Carol is also a big fan of our project tours to Guatemala. (Are you surprised? We aren’t!) In an article titled “The Best Ways to Experience Guatemala” in the Huffington Post, Carol wrote:
“This experience allows for a more intimate familiarization with the Guatemalan people and is an inspiring way to learn about the country. This isn’t a volunteer program in the traditional sense of the word. Guests stay in beautiful hotels, have wonderful meals together, and even get to enjoy a shopping excursion or two. But the most impactful moments are the ones where you get to visit the schools, meet the children, teachers, and principals, as well as the local CoEd staff who have been empowered by this organization to lead the way for the program and its success. It will leave you changed and reshape how you view the power of giving.”
Convinced? Head over to our website and Sign Up for Our August Snapshot Tour! Did we mention there’s a $200 discount right now? Ooooh yeah.