|The Founding of Avivara
The original idea for Avivara grew out of the experiences of three educators, two from the United States and one, a Guatemalan teacher, all deeply committed to combating poverty through the power of education.
With over 40 years of combined experience as educators in the United States, Ann Austin and Gary Teale arrived in Guatemala in the summer of 2006 to begin work as volunteers with a project that provided educational support for children living in or near the garbage dump in Guatemala City. During the fourteen months that they spent working in that project, they saw the positive impact education could have in helping children and their families break out of the cycle of poverty. Also, as they became more familiar with the realities of Guatemala, they realized that similar challenges confronted children and families living in the rural areas of Guatemala where extreme poverty and illiteracy affect as much as 85% of the population.
Ann and Gary also had the good fortune to become friends with Gustavo Valle, a Guatemalan who also believes in the power of education. As a young boy he witnessed the transforming power of education in his own family. From that experience, and from a deep love for his country and its people, Gustavo became deeply committed to having as many Guatemalan children as possible have access to a quality education.
together in 2007, Ann, Gary and Gustavo began laying the groundwork for
what would eventually become Avivara. Through their contacts with other
Guatemalans and friends from the United States, they were encouraged to
develop an organization that would be able to gather and
distribute resources to help improve the quality of education in
Guatemala and to make it possible for those students who deeply desired
to continue their education to be able to do so.
2008, Gustavo, Ann and Gary, in collaboration with the newly formed
Board of Directors in the United States and the newly formed Board of
Directors in Guatemala, worked to legally establish Avivara as a
non-profit corporation and 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States
and a tax-exempt non-governmental organization (NGO) in Guatemala.
For the most recent information on Avivara and its programs, please see our Annual Reports.