Posts Tagged ‘Central America’

A Life of Service: The Story of Scholarship Program Graduate Tiofila

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

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.


Our Partnership with Rotary is Stronger Than Ever!

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Chances are you’ve seen this golden wheel around, but do you know what it represents?

rotary international


150,000 Students Served

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

What does it feel like to help 150,000 students in Guatemala? That’s right, we’re asking YOU, because you’ve been a key part of CoEd’s success!

Comment below with your answer, then scroll back up and read or listen as CoEd founders Joe and Jeff respond to the same question.

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

Joining in late? Listen from the beginning.


CoEd Featured on Huffington Post!

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Featured on Huffington Post

Carol Cain of Girl Gone Travel  has seen a lot. She loves traveling and discovering new adventures along the way. Her latest adventure took her to Guatemala with… wait for it… okay, it is obviously US. We had a hoot and a half with Carol, who has made a successful career out of blogging about her travels. She recently wrote a post featuring CoEd that made it all the way to a lil’ corner of the internet called the Huffington Post.

Read on to discover what Carol deems the best ways to experience Guatemala (spoiler alert: CoEd made the cut!).

7 Places You Must Visit in Guatemala

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Everyone seems to know about the serene beauty of Lake Atitlan, the old-world charm of Antigua and the exotic ruins of Tikal. And by all means, you should certainly visit those places; they are all well worth the journey. But, have you ever had the desire to explore a different side of Guatemala; something off the beaten path?

Well, have we got the list for you! Curated by our very own Rony Mejía, you will definitely want to add one or two of these gems to your next Guatemalan vacation. In fact, simply tack on a few extra days to your next CoEd tour to Guatemala. Here we go!

1. Yaxha, Petén

Yaxha Peten

At least as spectacular as Tikal, Yaxha also includes two small lakes, making it an even more interesting place to visit. Huge restoration efforts undertaken over the last ten years, plus a local community actively involved in providing tourism services makes Yaxha the hidden jewel of the Maya legacy. Less crowded than Tikal, you will get the chance to observe all sorts of wildlife, including birds and monkeys!

2. Sinkhole Country (Cenotes) Nentón, Huehuetenango

Sinkhole country Guatemala
Near the eastern border with Mexico, Nentón is riddled with more than 200 cenotes, or sinkholes, formed centuries ago by collapsing cave systems. Today, many of these holes have plants growing inside of them, and a few boast a perfect cylindrical shape and house entire forests within! There are even a series of small lakes in some of the sinkholes. These things are seriously huge, and unlike anything you have ever seen! (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.

CoEd2010_Snapshot_Feb_Ann2 - 444

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.


CoEd2010_Snapshot_Feb_Ann2 - 388
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.

CoEd2010_Snapshot_Feb_Holly - 221

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.