Giving Hope to the Future through Education

    School to School Partnerships
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"To be educated requires you to examine the society in which you are being educated."
                                                                                           - James Baldwin

As Avivara has evolved, we have found ourselves bridging two very distinct and radically different cultures. While certainly not the perfect society, the people of the United States do generally enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world, with religious and democratic rights and freedoms, and access to education and health care. 

In Guatemala we have encountered a country struggling to regain itself after 500 years of economic exploitation and a bloody 36 year long civil war. It is a country of nearly 14 million people where over 60% of its families live in poverty, 45% of its children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition, and the average educational attainment is completion of the 3rd grade.

Yet even with (or possibly because of) these stark differences, the two cultures have much to share with one another. For the people of the U.S. there is the opportunity to learn about the rich diversity of languages, dress and cultural traditions of Guatemala. There is also the opportunity to understand the struggles of living in a developing country, where many village communities lack such basic human services as safe drinking water, electricity, health care, decent roads and educational opportunity.

Through the use of letters, video technology, and classroom presentations, Avivara is helping students in the U.S. communicate with Guatemalan students and learn about life in Guatemala. Conversely, the students in Guatemala are learning that students around the world share similar concerns about parents, teachers, school requirements and interactions with their peers.

Another important aspect of the partnership is the commitment of the school in the U.S. to raise funds to help supply their partner school in Guatemala with such things as teaching materials, students supplies, classroom equipment and other educational improvements. Some of the U.S. schools do an annual "Guatemala" fundraising event, while others have established an ongoing activity (such as morning doughnut sales, a monthly pizza lunch, etc.) to raise money for their partner school. Since starting this program in 2008, the schools in the U.S. have raised altogether over $25,000 to support their respective partner schools in Guatemala.

MINEDUC Award to partner schools

The Ministry of Education of the Guatemalan government has officially recognized the efforts of eight schools who have donated funds to Avivara to support the improvement of education in Guatemala.

If you know of a school in the U.S. that might be interested in becoming a partner school with a school in Guatemala, please Contact Us and we will send you more information on how that relationship can be established.

Our Current List of School Partnerships
  • Archbishop Murphy High School, Everett, WA is partnered with Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta de Cerro Nino.
  • St. Madeleine Sophie School, Bellevue, WA is partnered with Escuela Especial Rural Mixta Valle de Durazno.
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Anchorage, AK is partnered with Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta de San Jose Pacul.
(Note: An "Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta" is the Guatemala government's designation for a rural, co-ed public school.)

El Yalu-Avivara
Segunda Cruz-Avivara
Guatemalan students watching a partner school video
Gustavo Valle-Avivara
Gustavo sharing stories at Darrington Elementary School
US Students-Avivara
U.S. students learning about Guatemala
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