UW Guatemala Education Project
For more information about our Guatemalan partners see Movimiento de Trabajadores Campesinos.
Since 2005, the University of Washington Guatemala Project raised more than $50,000 to contribute to education and opportunities for youth in San Marcos, Guatemala. This was made possible by our many generous donors and the patrons of our 2007 benefit auction.
This project, organized entirely at the initiative of students in the UW’s 2005, 2006, and 2007 Exploration Seminars and Study Abroad trips to Guatemala, aims to support primary and secondary education in Guatemala’s coffee-growing communities through a sustained commitment to youth empowerment. Designed in conjunction with the NGO Movimiento de Trabajadores Campesinos (MTC) in San Marcos, Guatemala, the project adopts an innovative, integral approach to education, recognizing that poor educational outcomes are not only a reflection of scarce funds for tuition, but also the frequent lack of community-based support for students. This project has involved two phases of support. The first phase involved empowering young leaders from 6 coffee-growing municipalities by engaging them in a regional support network and encouraging small-scale development projects of their own design. We supported these leaders through 14 youth scholarships. The second phase began in 2008, in which the UWGEP supported the MTC’s vocational training programs for youth in the San Marcos region.
In the wake of Hurricane Stan, which devastated this region of Guatemala in 2005, there has been a dramatic increase in emigration by teenagers and even younger children, who head north towards the United States to face an uncertain future. This project has sought to provide support for youth from the area to stay home and invest in their communities’ futures through education and leadership training. It also has provided important engaged-learning opportunities for UW students interested in development and NGO work. At every stage of the project’s organization, it has been run by UW students, working in close consultation with Prof. Godoy and the MTC in Guatemala. In the later phases of the project, Prof. Godoy has continued to communicate with the MTC regarding administration of funding for its youth education and vocational training programs.
2016: Youth Leadership Scholarships – Phase Three
In 2016, we are happy to launch Phase Three of the project, where the UW Center for Human Rights continues the partnership with Movimiento de Trabajadores Campesinos (Movement of Peasant Workers, MTC) to administer funding for education. For this 2016 school year, which initiated in January, ten youth leaders from the region of San Marcos, Guatemala, received scholarship funds supported by the UW Guatemala Education Project to complete formal education at the secondary, high school and university levels. Students were chosen by our partner organization, MTC. The 2016 award recipients are:
Scholarship recipients participated in regional discussions to identify small-scale development projects that could provide sustainable economic benefits to their communities. These discussions were facilitated by a mentor/adviser who provided regular support for the scholarship recipients, advising them in both their academic studies and community development work. One of the primary reasons students leave school is because they lack a support network of people who have completed schooling and can provide them the support they need to face its challenges. This project aimed to ameliorate the issue by encouraging students to develop and operate within broader community networks than may have otherwise been accessible to them. Small-scale development projects identified through this process were supported in the form of micro-financing for supplies. For example, modest projects were supported through a loan to purchase sewing machines or thread.
Human Rights Documentary Project
Right to Education Project
This project is composed of a variety of collaborations and initiatives with NGOs and grassroots organizations interested in safeguarding the right to education. Some of these organizations are further interested in the links between this and other human rights. UW CHR has provided training and other support to these organizations.
Seattle Young People’s Project Workshop:
UW CHR’s Glenda Pearson led a workshop for a group of young people in November of 2011 on how to use widely available research tools to conduct research about the school-to-prison pipeline and broader educational inequities. The workshop sought to empower SYPP’s YO 2.0 participants by teaching them how to access trustworthy information that they could later use to advocate for their rights.