Meet Juan!

Juan is a bright 18-year-old student from San Pablo La Laguna. He is in his first year of High School and has been in the ODIM scholarship program for 5 years now.

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Juan lives with his mom and his three siblings in San Pablo. His mom washes clothes for other families to make a living, while Juan works an after school job chopping wood in the mountains. When Juan was 14 years old, his dad left his family for about 2 years, which was very hard for them. “We didn’t have food or money, and my mom was very worried, she didn’t know how we were going to make it to end of the month. I decided to help her and I started working, which meant I could not continue studying. For two years I was out of school, but I was very sad because I wanted to accomplish more in my life”.

His mom realized that he wanted to study, so she told him to go ahead and do it, but they still needed financial support. “The day that I found out about this program I was incredibly happy. It changed my life completely, because now I can accomplish my dreams”. Juan believes that studying is the most important thing in someone´s life. After High School he wants to go to university and study to become an architect. “If I didn’t have this kind of help I would still be working and wouldn’t even finished middle school”.

The story of Juan is very common among the children and teenagers of San Pablo La Laguna, where the drop-out rate is 80%. Most families cannot afford to pay for school and the children have to end schooling to help their family financially. Through the Scholarship program we cover the costs of their education, paying for tuition, uniforms and school supplies. However, children are often times not given the guidance or time needed in the home and in the schools in order to truly excel. Therefore, we staff three teachers to provide group tutoring and enrichment classes to the children involved. Once each month the children additionally participate in a community service project so they develop leadership skills and a community spirit. Our teachers have also helped the students form an artisan production cooperative in which they make origami earrings of recycled corn chip bags, crocheted hacky sack balls and hair bobs. Students sell these items to visiting volunteer teams in order to raise funds to help defray some of their school expenses.

A donation of $80.00 a month will help one of these children achieve his or her dreams.

For more information about sponsorships reach out to Communications and Fundraising Manager, Katja Gryl at communications.manager@odimguatemala.org
To sign up as a sponsor click here