Since February of 1999, HPC has been involved in a project begun by the Presbytery of Sayaxche, in the Petén region of Guatemala. The people of the villages who make up this Presbytery are Mayan K’ekchi famers, whose leaders believe that their only hope for improving their present condition is through educating their children. In all of the Sayaxche Presbytery, most of the leaders have achieved not much more that a second grade education.
While five of the six villages have government run schools, which offer only 1st through 5th grade, the schools are limited to how many they can accommodate and so not all the children can attend. For those fortunate enough to attend, only about 25% will make it through the second grade due to factors including the families’ lack of funds necessary for providing school supplies. In 2003, we were introduced to our first eleven students selected by the K'ekchi. These children would attend school in the town of Sayaxche where they could receive a high school education. HPC raised the money through individual contributions to fund scholarships for these 11 students.
Today we have 35 students attending high school and two attending college. The cost for these children to go to school ranges between $500 and $700 for the year. This includes tuition, uniforms, and supplies. These children are all from poor families who could not afford these expenses for school. Our ongoing commitment to our K'ekchi friends has given them hope for a better future.