Monday, May 7, 2007


The rural school in San Jorge la Laguna has 550 children enrolled in 11 classrooms this year. Lots of them suffer from malnutrition and parasites. Very few are exposed to any educational material before starting school and they struggle in crowded classrooms. Spanish is their second language and instruction is given in Spanish with no extra support.

When we first went to this school, there was no running water. We are now pleased to say that they have running water in the toilets and wash basins thanks to generous donations from private donors. We also supplied this school with desks, chairs, paint, school supplies, tin trash cans. In June 2007 we finished paving with cement the space between the classroom. The children now have a safe place to play and the classrooms are kept cleaner.

We have also found sponsors for students from San Jorge.
These girls attend the San Jorge School and they are sponsored by Mayan Family donors. They received new uniforms in April 2007. Please visit our Student Sponsorship blog

School is free here but there are many costs attached to it. The inscription fee, the school uniform, the books, the backpack, the school shoes, the tennis shoes and the added extra costs. This puts sending a child to school way out of the range of many families. These costs vary from school to school.

Quite often if there is a choice between which child shall go to school the family will choose the boy to attend school and the girls will stay at home. We sponsor many boys but we like to make sure that girls are getting a chance to go to school as well.
We especially try to sponsor children from single parents as these are the most disadvantaged. We also sponsor two parent families who are suffering hardships.

It costs us $120 a year to send a child to school. This includes school subscription, school uniform and sweater, all school supplies, backpack, two pairs of socks, underwear, school shoes, tennis shoes, shorts and t-shirt for gym. Depending on the school and the grade it may also include a musical instrument, it also usually includes an annual school excursion and help with projects - such as mothers and fathers day crafts etc.

If you would like to sponsor a child, please contact us at


June 2007.- Mayan Families donated water filters for each of the classrooms and now the kids are able to drink clean water.

Temporary classrooms in center of town:
Classrooms at the permanent school:

This new classroom needs electricity and paint

Volunteers playing with the kindergarten children

This is the cereal snack being cooked at the school in San Jorge la Laguna. It is a cereal called Incaparina which is rich in vitamins and fiber. It is mixed with a little powdered milk and a lot of sugar. The children at this school are lucky. They receive this snack daily. The women are cooking these huge pots over wood stoves. The heat and the smoke in the room is overwhelming.

The school is also in need of more classrooms, desks, chairs, their dream is to be able to have a library and computers for the children.

The needs of this school are:
*URGENT* New classrooms to replace the makeshift ones currently used in the center of town.

Glass for the windows.
Desks for the teachers.
A microphone and speakers.
A play area for the children.
Supplies such as paint, markers, paper, pens, pencils etc.
Chairs and Desks for the students.

The boys' lavatory

October 2007.- This week we were able to install bookshelves in 15 of the 17 classrooms in the San Jorge school. The other two classrooms are temporary classrooms and the shelving will be installed in January when school re-opens.

This was a donation from G.A.F.I. - a wonderful group of parents who have adopted their children from Guatemala and want to give something back to the country and to help the children here.

These classrooms had no shelving previously. The books and equipment had to be stacked on the floor. These shelves are going to be of great use to the teachers and pupils of the San Jorge School. Thank you so much G.A.F.I.!

January 6, 2008.- Thanks to an anonymous donation from a Mayan Families supporter, 2 bathrooms are being built in San Jorge so the children that go to the temporary school don't have to use the Mayors Office. They are hoping to have them finished by the time school starts.
Now students and the people of San Jorge will have a public place to use the bathrooms and wash their hands. They are going to be the only public restrooms in San Jorge so they will be a busy place.

January 11, 2008.- New Gas Stoves for San Jorge School.
The school in San Jorge had been using huge wood burning stoves to cook the snack provided each day to the children. This snack is sometimes the only meal that the children have from the moment that they get up until they go home at 12.30pm. Many children do not have breakfast before they come to school. The school provides a cooked oatmeal drink called mosh, or sometimes a meal of noodles and meat.
This has always been cooked over these very large wood burning stoves. The kitchen was laden with smoke, it was so hot for the women working there.

The school had a wish to be able to buy these gas stoves but no money to be able to make that a reality.

Along came a school in the U.S. that wanted to be able to do something for the children of Guatemala. They sent the money to buy these stoves.

This will not only help the health of the women working in the kitchen but it is going to really help the environment. Before each child had to bring wood every week to be able to keep the stoves going. Now the school is charging $1 per child per year to be able to buy the gas.

Now the stoves are being installed in a smaller room that used to be a very crowded classroom. There was barely room to move. The old stoves are being dismantled and the old kitchen which was much bigger than the small classroom is now going to be painted and used as a classroom. This will give the children and the teacher much more room to move.

Today the arrival of the stoves was greeted by loud firecrackers and applause and many speeches of appreciation.
Most of the students and parents gathered to see these stoves and waited in the hot sun to hear the speeches.

Thank you to all the people who made this dream become a reality.

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