The Club had Ricardo Boehm as the guest speaker for the Nov. 25 meeting. He is a member of the Palm Beach Rotary Club and has focused a lot of this personal attention to helping the indigenous people in a remote area of Guatemala and, in particular, the Ak’Tenamit school. Note below the boat, electric motor and solar panels all provided via Rotary Global Grants.
Rotary Global Grant’s mission there is to enable the indigenous people of Guatemala to become self-sustaining by supporting projects that:
- Improve health care
- Reduce illiteracy
- Promote environmentally sound agriculture
- Enterprise development to raise income levels
Note that 74.5% of the population aged 15 and over is literate, the lowest literacy rate in Central America
- 75% of indigenous Guatemalans live in poverty
- 10% of indigenous children are child laborers by age 10
- Indigenous girls drop out after 1st grade, boys after 3rd
- 19% of men and 27% women are illiterate
- Only 5% of indigenous girls finish high school
The three-year vocational high school is nationally and internationally recognized for its innovative program. The curriculum is adapted to the needs, interests, and culture of students learning in a rural context, and classroom learning is complemented with practical work experience.
Students earn 3,000 hours of on-the-job experience through the work-study program.
Rotary Supports Ak’Tenamit
Individual club grants, Humanitarian matching grants, and District grants have filled many needs.
Individual Rotarians have made innumerable individual contributions, and many are student sponsors and healthcare partners.
Rotary Works at Ak’Tenamit
Rotary service teams have been coming to Guatemala to help improve Ak’ Tenamit’s infrastructure for over 20 years. They brave the sticky jungle heat to work alongside students and community members to enhance Ak’ Tenamit’s education programs.
Here are the overall figures for the school.
The most recent Rotary Global Grant was able to secure electric outboard motors and boat that greatly increased the mobility for the school.
They are now raising money to buy larger electric motors and a 50-60 passenger catamaran ferry to help gather students to attend the school.
Leave a Reply