– Paulo Freire, Air Plant Shop
After reaching the threshold to build our second school in mid 2019, Pencils of Promise (PoP) has been visiting rural communities in Guatemala to assess local need for improving education. The PoP team has narrowed it down to the Department of Quetzaltenango. Quetzaltenango, known as Xela (Shay-Luh) by the locals, has a high Mayan population and many under-served communities. This is also home to Pencils of Promise's Guatemalan headquarters. It is there hope that their close proximity of their main operations will facilitate efficiencies in school planning and administration in the region. We hope that we can announce our official ground-breaking soon! We hope you are as excited as we are. Thank you for helping us change lives!
Three months after the official inauguration of the school, we sent Christian as Air Plant Shop representative to make the long journey to the Quiché department with the Pencils of Promise team. Christian was met with a joyful ceremony commemorating the construction of the building including dancing, sack races and beautiful marimba music. We made goody bags for every student. More than 300 pupils received a bag with a notebook, pencils, pencil sharpener, crayons and candies. In addition we donated a couple of soccer balls. Everyone loved it! Find more photos on our Gallery Page.
The four-classroom school has officially been completed! These additional classrooms will help with overcrowding in the community and serve pre-primary, first, second and fifth grade students. The children are so happy to have new, clean environment conducive to learning. Thank you to all of our customers who have helped make this happen.
There is so much new space to learn in big, bright classrooms.
The Quiché region of Guatemala is primarily made up of indigenous Maya communities. Below, children celebrate the dedication of the new school with a traditional ceremony.
During the dedication, a boy leads in singing the national anthem of Guatemala.
Students happily washing their hands at the new lavamanos (hand washing area). Air Plant Shop proudly supports the Pencils of Promise WASH program which educates youngsters about health and sanitation.
Construction continues on the school in Aldea Rosario Monte Maria.
We have been officially paired with the rural community of Aldea Rosario Monte Maria in the Quiché region in Northwestern Guatemala for our first school build. Currently, the community has a school with six formal classrooms and four provisional classrooms made out of wood and dirt floors. Because of the large number of students, these classrooms are experiencing overcrowding, as well additional structural safety hazards. These conditions pose a hazard to student safety and well being as well as engagement and learning.
The additional classrooms will help with overcrowding and will serve pre-primary, first, second and fifth grade students. Teachers, parents and community members are dedicated and committed to the project, and will contribute up to 20 percent of resources and labor necessary to complete the build. The project should be completed by the fall of 2018. Additional donations are going towards our second school build.
Today, many students in Aldea Rosario Monte Maria attend classes in poorly-constructed provisional buildings, however, their eagerness to learn is unwavering.
We've met our goal. We are going to build a school in Guatemala completely funded by your air plant orders. During the next several months, Pencils of Promise will pair us with a rural community in Guatemala. Once the they choose the site, the school will be completed in 3-5 months. We won't stop here. We are on-track to have enough money funded for a second school build within 10 months. In addition, we are donating an additional $1,000 dollars a month to Pencil of Promise's Passport and Wash programs, which train teachers and teach young people about sanitation and nutrition.
Thank you for letting us reach our goal one month earlier than anticipated.
- The Air Plant Shop Team
Throughout the developing world, disadvantaged children struggle to become educated due to lack of schools, limited community support organizations, and lack of governmental funding. To make a difference, AirPlantShop.com will donate $1.00 of every order to support Pencils of Promise, an international non-profit organization that funds schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal that everyone should have the opportunity to receive a quality education.
They say if you give a man a fish he eats for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime. That is exactly what Pencils of Promise does in the communities they serve. Pencils of Promise build schools, pays teachers, provides private scholarships for secondary education, and support community programs covering topics like water purification, nutrition, and sanitation.
Pencils of Promise has a track record of supporting communities that require the most help and maintaining a long-lasting relationship. Yearly studies show that students of Pencils of Promise schools are more literate and educationally-focused than other children in the countries. They have a proven track record of building educational foundations in the communities that last and we are proud to support their efforts.
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