As 2021 finally winds down, we reflect on what strange times we are living through. These last two years have been packed with uncertainty and unprecedented challenges. Although this is mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Guatemala has also suffered the effects of two major hurricanes during this time. The rural communities that Cooperative for Education (CoEd) serves in Guatemala continue to struggle with greater obstacles than they’ve ever faced before. 

Despite this, our spirits remain strong. Our talented students and staff are no strangers to pushing through one challenge after another. Their desire to persevere is more evident than it’s ever been. Our team and beneficiaries in Guatemala are going beyond merely surviving, proactively seeking out ways to help their fellow human.

Yanet, pictured to the left, is an eighth-grader in our Rise Youth Development Program. Her family struggles every day to support seven family members under one roof on an uncertain income. But despite their own challenges, Yanet and her family are now collecting and delivering food to neighbors affected by COVID.

Spark Reading teachers are also going above and beyond—working tirelessly to provide education, even when it means walking the long routes to their students’ homes to deliver Spark reading books, along with CoEd-provided study guides to help students learn at home.

Some parents who can’t read themselves are stepping up to help their children read at home, with the children’s books and study guides provided by CoEd’s Spark Reading Program.

“CoEd and its Textbook Program are always there when we need them most. They are like a constant drop of water in the desert,” says Pedro, a teacher benefiting from CoEd textbooks. Despite the challenges of COVID, we delivered textbooks to FIVE new schools in 2021—observing masking and social distancing protocols of course! Thanks to our team’s persistence, 385 more kids this year have these vital resources to be able to study at home while in-person learning is suspended.

At a new CoEd Computer Center in Coban, one parent shares, “I want to thank CoEd for the effort they have put in setting up this computer lab. It has been a dream for many years for the Escuela de Formación Agrícola.” Despite the challenges of COVID, the Computer Program continues to adapt and now incorporates an online platform for students to learn remotely from smartphones while access to the labs is limited. Thanks to our team’s persistence, 280 more kids this year have these vital resources to be able to study at home while in-person learning is suspended.

Due to COVID, the number of families in Guatemala who cannot send their children to school without financial help has more than doubled. Your support allows our program teams on the ground to be nimble in our response, shifting gears to best serve the needs of these students and communities during constantly-changing circumstances. But more than that, your compassion and commitment proves to these students that they’re not alone. The children of Guatemala need this support now more than ever before. 

Together, we can continue applying that force for good. We can continue to push an unfair world in the direction of justice and equal opportunity. And we need your help. Remember learning in physics that force=mass*acceleration? Well, there is a mass of students in Guatemala right now with incredible potential. Tens of thousands of kids who are poised to change the world. But YOUR support provides the acceleration. It gets books and technology into the hands of kids, ensuring they learn vital reading, critical thinking, and computer skills. It gets students into their next level of schooling and sees them through to high school graduation. Unattainable for so many, but with the right momentum, once students reach it, anything is possible

A generous donor is willing to match every dollar you give by the end of December, up to $25,000⁠—making your gift go twice as far and helping twice as many students.

Will you be a force for good this holiday season by making a gift to support deserving students in Guatemala?

Joseph Berninger
Co-Founder and Executive Director

P.S. Remember, your gift will be matched up to $25,000, making it go twice as far!