Nestled in a small village in northern Sololá, the Pixabaj Cooperative School serves around 90 students each year. But students at Pixabaj are outperforming the national average in reading and math scores…can you guess how? They’re a part of Cooperative for Education’s Textbook Program! Thanks to the determination of the Pixabaj community and funding from essential supporters like you, the children in Pixabaj now have access to a brighter future—through education.

Pixabaj Map

With programs designed for future success, we have remained committed to our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education, even during the pandemic. The sustainable model of the Textbook Program continues to ensure that schools like Pixabaj have the resources they need to continue educating their students.

In fact, the Textbook Program has provided an astounding 22,506 students in 197 schools in Guatemala with textbooks! And the program continues to shift and innovate, providing practical blended and virtual learning strategies to teachers throughout the pandemic.

How the Program Works

CoEd provides a low-cost, sustainable solution for giving students access to textbooks. Every program participant “rents” a set of books in core subjects like math, science, Spanish language, and social studies for a small monthly fee (about $1.50). These fees are collected into a revolving fund which is used to replace the books when they wear out. This means that after the initial donation of textbooks to a school, the program is self-sustaining and renewable.

Books are even purchased in bulk directly from a large Guatemalan publisher, thus securing the lowest possible price and contributing to the local economy. Teachers also receive training on how to use textbooks in their classrooms effectively.

The First Delivery

Pixabaj Cooperative School is a great example of the Textbook Program’s sustainability in action. Back in 2009, Pixabaj received their very first CoEd textbooks. As part of the Textbook Program, they also learned how to collect small rental fees from students each year, saving these funds with the goal of replacing their books after approximately five years.

Students at Pixabaj celebrated the delivery of their first set of textbooks and welcomed CoEd tour participants with a folkloric dance.

Renewing Textbooks: Take One

Pixabaj enthusiastically put the revolving fund into practice and renewed their books right on schedule in 2014. The first time Pixabaj Cooperative School renewed their textbooks, they celebrated by welcoming Cooperative for Education (CoEd) and Rotary volunteers from around the world!

Rotarians and CoEd supporters returned to Pixabaj in 2014 to celebrate the community’s success in purchasing a new set of textbooks for their school.

Renewing Textbooks: Take Two

When it came time to renew their books for a second time, Guatemala and its economy had been hit hard by the pandemic. But the community of Pixabaj was determined to keep up with the program for the sake of their students. And so, they were able to purchase brand-new textbooks again in 2021!

Teachers from Pixabaj attended CoEd training to learn updated techniques and best practices for using their textbooks in a hybrid classroom.

When educators came together again for training with CoEd staff, their joy and excitement were palpable. Along with their newest set of textbooks, teachers from Pixabaj completed training to learn updated best practices, how to use the books to meet the learning objectives of Guatemala’s national curriculum, and even strategies for reaching students while in-person learning was suspended or reduced. Many noted how CoEd’s training helped prepare teachers for instructing in a hybrid learning environment.

One teacher who attended the training shared,

“The training was very useful because working with learning platforms is a new aspect for most of us. After completing the training, we realized that Moodle and learning platforms are useful and accessible if they are explained and taught in a friendly way. The strategies that we are learning will allow us to interact with our students in a dynamic and effective way.”

Bringing Textbooks to More Schools

Reaching teachers with training wasn’t the only way the Textbook Program continued to serve Guatemalan schools. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our team delivered books to FOUR new schools in March 2022! Thanks to your support, 391 students at these schools are already studying with their brand-new textbooks. Their teachers and principals are now participating in the same training that the Pixabaj teachers completed last year. And thanks to the revolving fund, the books will benefit 391 students at these schools every year—for generations to come! In approximately five years’ time, these new schools will renew their own books, ensuring that their students have the tools to break the cycle of poverty for generations to come.

Interested in helping to bring textbooks to a school in need in Guatemala?