Tierra Colorado School

Tierra Colorado School
  • Partner: Tierra Colorado School
  • Began: January 2009
  • Ended: Ongoing

Tierra Colorada Canton is located about 5 kilometers outside of Quetzaltenango, the traditional Mayan capital of Guatemala.   The adult Mayan population in Tierra Colorada has a general literacy rate of about 60%, while the adult female rate is closer to 40%.  This illiteracy contributes to their inability to emerge from poverty.   Many of the adults recognize that education of the next generation is important, but often need the economic inputs of their children.  A conflict between the needs of today and the long-term benefits of education for tomorrow.

The school in Tierra Colorada serves about 100 families and since it was built in 2004 has been chronically overcrowded.  In 2009 Sombrilla partnered with the community in an attempt to improve conditions in the school.  In August 2010 construction started on an expansion of the school. Two new classrooms and a small kitchen were added to the school and the old cement toilets were replaced with flush toilets.  

While construction was underway, some volunteer teachers prepared a submission for the Department of Education to start a ‘Basico Institute’ [Grades 7 thru 9] at the school in 2012.  Through a generous donation by Project Manager Paul Layte, Sombrilla has been able to commit to funding this project for the first three years after which the Government of Guatemala will take over all operational costs. The Basico Institute will operate in the afternoon while ‘Primary School’ operates in the morning..