Grand opening of the new Zarzal school

Guatemala: Rincon de los Planes


Guatemala: Rincon de los Planes

Guatemala: Rincon de los Planes

- Capital city: Guatemala City
- Population: 12,728,111
- Export commodities: coffee, sugar, petroleum, fruits and vegetables, cardamom
- % below the poverty line: 56.2% (2004)
- GDP/ capita: $5,000 (2006)
- Life expectancy: 69.69 years (2007)
- Literacy rate: 69.1% (2002)
- Environmental issues: soil erosion, water pollution

Rincon de los Planes
Total spent 2001-2006 = $102,545
Total budgeted 2007= $22,000

Background - In 2000, we began purchasing coffee from a small group of 75 farmers who live in the Mataquescuintla region. Being a certified organic farm, we knew that Los Planes was already environmentally conscious and have since helped them to become as socially responsible as well.

2001 -  This year was spent constructing a new school known as the Doña Barbara.

2002 - The school officially opened after construction finished in May (see picture). The annual budget also allocated money to cover teachers’ salaries, school supplies, and to ensure that the school is properly maintained. RCF committed to funding a breakfast and lunch meal program for all students as well. Total spent: $20,000

2003 - In 2003, two more classrooms were built to expand the Doña Barbara school. (The community decided to name the school after Barbara Rogers.) An additional room was added to the one-room clinic and medicine and a computer were bought to equip it (see picture). To continue upgrading local nutritional levels, the Community Aid program began planning to help purchase cows so that students would have access to fresh milk. Meals and school supplies continued to be supplied to Doña Barbara.

Rather than continue to expand the Doña Barbara, construction began on a new, six room school known as San Francisco in the neighboring community.

2004 - Two new schools opened this year in the San Francisco and Zarzal communities that replaced the exposed sheds that had been serving as classrooms (see pictures on next page). For the San Francisco community, funding finally made a breakfast and lunch meal program possible (see pictures on next page). At Doña Barbara support for the lunch/dinner meal plan was continued, and bookshelves, cubbyholes, additional desks, and educational materials were supplied.

Aid was also allocated to maintain San Francisco’s newly tiled medical clinic and to pay a doctor to provide one year’s worth of service to the community. Because each school also functions as a community-wide clinic, after the new school was completed, the Zarzal community also received funds to cover a doctor’s salary.

Total spent: $42,750

2005 - 2006 - The Zarzal school opened and a meal plan was begun for its students. The meal program in place at the Doña Barbara and San Francisco schools was continued as well. Financial support was also provided to meet the needs of each community’s school and clinic. Total spent: $39,795

2007- Now that each community has a new school and clinic, this year we will focus our attention on ensuring that they are adequately supplied. We will also continue to pay for a doctor’s salary so that health services can continue. Total budgeted: $22,000

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