As officers of Guatemala Service Projects, or as individuals outside GSP, we directly sponsor seven children in Guatemala. However, there are many more deserving kids identified by partners we trust that have asked for our help in finding sponsors for several more.
Diego Xirum Scholarship Fund
Diego has hand-selected young people that would take full advantage of opportunities to continue their education and become shining examples for their community. Diego has reiterated that the best way to lift an entire community is to inspire its young people to become educated and share opportunities to lift others in return. It is clearly a plan that he has executed in his own life and now he is, himself, advocating on behalf of his neighbors. We have a goal to provide sponsorship for two people from Diego’s community in each student classification: primaria (1st-6th), básico (7th-9th), diversificado (10th-12th, during which a student specializes in a career path, such as nursing, accounting, teaching, secretarial, etc.), and university. The cost of monthly sponsorship will vary based on the grade level of the student, and for students at the diversificado or university level, how far away they live from the school that specializes in the discipline chosen. For students in Diego’s community, there is no support net. If they do not get sponsors, they will not attend school. Instead, they will likely get jobs to contribute to the family income and the cycle will continue. Diego’s motto is: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.“
Jacobo and Ada Castillo are co-directors of Nuevo Reto, an organization in Guatemala that provides education sponsorship and limited meals along with job skills training in crafts, sewing and carpentry. They provide a safe and motivational place to study, learn and grow. With the limited funds they have in the General Education Fund, they try to maintain school attendance for all kids in their program, but without support from sponsors, it is sometimes at the expense of paying staff or doing other projects. Of particular note is the fact that none of the children from Nuevo Reto live in a home with running water.
Meet the Students!
Please look at the students in this image carousel and consider becoming a sponsor! The youth are ordered by age. If you hover over an image, the slides will pause, and if you click an image, you will see a larger version with complete bio. It is very easy to feel drawn to a particular student based on something you have in common! (We have sponsored based on a name, an age, favorite subject in school, and any variety of similarities.)
If you cannot afford a monthly scholarship, please consider recruiting a friend or family member to share in the joy of sponsorship! There is no way we can provide support to all children in Guatemala needing an education, but if you can help just one, just think of the possibilities!
How do I pay? The monthly amount needed is listed in the student bio. You can choose to pay a month at a time, every two months, quarterly, for an entire year, or whatever makes most sense for your budget. We can even help you set up a recurring payment if you’d like. Easy! Payments are made to Guatemala Service Projects online (credit card or PayPal) or through the mail with a check. We are a 501c3 charitable organization, and as such, we will issue a tax receipt at the end of the year for all sponsorship donations.
Can we communicate with our sponsored students? Yes! If you would like to email letters or photos to Diego or Ada, they will see to it that your sponsored student receives them. In addition, during each time that Guatemala Service Projects visits Chichicastenango (Diego’s students) or Nuevo Reto, we’d be happy to hand-deliver letters or small gifts for your student and get photo updates for you.
What does sponsorship cover? For students covered by Nuevo Reto, it covers registration and tuition fees, uniforms and school supplies. For students covered by the Diego Xirum Scholarship Fund, it covers all the things listed above, plus a contribution toward school building maintenance, participation for the Independence Day parade, and (at the higher levels) transportation costs to get to the school that specializes in the area of study. For students attending university, sometimes housing or extra materials or project fees are being requested.
Am I able to visit a student I sponsor in person? Yes! If you travel to Guatemala on a service trip with Guatemala Service Projects, we can arrange for you to meet your sponsored student!
Once I have sponsored a student, can I find out what other specific needs the student or family has? There is never the expectation that a sponsor would contribute toward other needs the student or family might have, but yes, if the student does not have a bed or stove or water filter, as an example, we can arrange for the sponsor to contribute toward something like that, if desired.