Education is a critical part of breaking the cycle of poverty and encouraging self-sustainability. The Foundation of the Hospital de la Familia supports educational programs which provide the opportunity for a better future.
Guatemala spends only 2.8 percent of their GDP on education, which is the lowest of any country in Latin America. This limited funding paired with government corruption and inefficiency in the public educational system has a negative effect on learning. The last learning assessment conducted by USAID for primary grades found that only 40 percent of sixth graders reached performance standards in reading. Additionally, 61 percent of Guatemalan youth in the Western Highlands, which is predominantly indigenous, do not reach high school.
Long-term, sustainable development and improved equity in Guatemala will only be possible if children and youth receive a quality education. Source: USAID
of indigenous adults cannot read or write
of indigenous children who enter first grade do not finish primary school
who complete secondary school do not reach high school
Elementary School- The Colegio de Padre Bertoldo Meda, named for one of the founders of the Hospital, provides an education for approximately 160 children each year. HdlFF provides a venue and other various support for the school. The rate of graduation of children from the sixth grade into secondary school is 94 percent, well above the regional average of 61 percent.
- A school band performs often during parades and gives concerts to the community
- A computer lab provides computer skills training for each class
- A daily meal is provided for every student
Nursing Assistant School
The Nursing Assistant School, honoring Sonia Jimenez, R.N. is a certificated program that trains locals interested in a profession in the medical field. Graduates of this program go on to work in clinics and hospitals throughout Guatemala. Also, as part of their curriculum they do a rotation working with the chronically malnourished babies, learning and providing support to the youngest patients of the Hospital.
The Sewing School, founded by Canadian lay-missionary Jeanine Archimbaud in the early 1970s, teaches women and girls basic sewing skills. Through this program, they learn skills that they can use to contribute to their household’s income and pave the road to economic self-sufficiency.