Quick facts about the Bethel-Quetzaltenango Primary School:
- Grade-levels served: Kindergarten-ninth grade (ages 3–16)
- Curriculum: Children receive instruction in core academic subjects, including English. Additional courses are offered in industrial arts, home economics, computer literacy and music.
- Academic schedule: Typically begins in mid-January and ends in late October. Students enjoy summer break during the months of November through mid-January and a two-week winter break in June.
- Nutrition: The school provides at least one nutritional meal each day.
- Medical care: Children’s health is closely monitored, and medical care is provided as needed by a local physician. Children also receive vitamins and nutritional beverages each day.
- Additional circumstances: Children here often come from single-parent homes. Many also suffer neglect or abuse. Malnutrition is common, as many families cannot afford adequate food.
- Recreational activity: Children also participate in a variety of recreational sports, including soccer, basketball and baseball.
Located just southeast of Mexico, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. Its spectacular mountains boast a wealth of natural resources and stunning biodiversity. For centuries, this land served as the core territory of the Mayan civilization.
Following two centuries of Spanish colonization, Guatemala gained its independence in the early 19th century, only to endure another 150 years of political instability and civil unrest. Additionally, this area is prone to devastating natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes which cause mudslides and flooding.
Despite recent economic growth and successful democratic elections, Guatemala still struggles with widespread poverty, illiteracy, crime and high rates of unemployment and underemployment. Quetzaltenango, the nation’s second-largest city, is no exception to these maladies. Despite the city’s rich history and beauty, the majority of its population lives in abject poverty.
For this reason, the Bethel-Quetzaltenango Primary School serves as a beacon of hope. Established by the local Bethel Church, the school’s mission is to assist Quetzaltenango’s impoverished children. Here, these deserving boys and girls receive a well-rounded education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty — as well as the opportunity to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances into which they were born.
Quick Facts about GUATEMALA:
- Population: 17,245,346 (2018 est.)
- Languages Spoken: Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages include Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna and Xinca)
- Unemployment Rate: 8% (2018 est.), with high underemployment
- Poverty Rate: 3% (2017 est.)