Adopt-a-Village (AAV) partners with Mayan villages in the isolated northwestern region of Guatemala to improve education, health and economic conditions throughout the region. Focused on education, AAV has been working steadily in northwestern Huehuetenango for 20 years, growing and evolving in response to the needs and strengths of the communities where they work.
Seeking affordable land and a better future for their children after Guatemala's 36-year civil war, many of these villages have been settled over the last 20 years by the Maya. This is one of the poorest and least-served regions of Guatemala. Employment and education opportunities are extremely limited. Chronic malnutrition is pervasive; some children routinely go a day or more without eating.
Located in a remote rainforest in northwestern Guatemala, the Mayan Center for Education and Development campus comprises of a high school, middle school, nutrition center, organic gardens, and staff and student housing. Managed on the concept of a sustainable school, students are required to give three days of labor a month—tending the school garden, managing the poultry program, and helping to prepare meals. Unlike other rural schools, the Maya Jaguar School provides students with an equipped computer lab. Students complete a specialty two-year Computer Sciences course in addition to regular computer classes. In a region of Guatemala that has few computer professionals, this valuable diploma course all but guarantees employment upon graduation. Additionally, AAV makes a special effort to ensure that women and girls who historically have been excluded from educational opportunities benefit from programs.
In hopes of empowering the youth of these rural villages, Twende Solar has installed a 6.6kW off-grid solar PV system to support the academic programming of the Maya Jaguar School.