AMIGOS INVESTS IN LONG-TERM PROGRAMS TO EQUIP THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS WITH THE TOOLS TO MAKE LASTING CHANGE IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY.
HOW DO WE ACHIEVE GENERATIONAL CHANGE?
SUPPORTING HIGHER EDUCATION
Amigos has supported over 150 scholarships, enabling the first generation of Santa Cruz youth to pursue higher education. As of 2018, over 100 have completed high school and 6 have received university degrees.
REDUCING EARLY PREGNANCIES
Providing access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health education has resulted in fewer early pregnancies, more girls staying in school, and healthier families.
BUILDING FAIR ECONOMIES
Amigos’ two social enterprise businesses employ over 90 women artisans and 10 local staff that earn up to twice the local average wage and invest in the local economy.
TEACHING EMPLOYMENT SKILLS
The hands-on skills gained through CECAP vocational training programs open up job opportunities for men and women in Santa Cruz. Over 90% of our 55 Culinary Program graduates have obtained employment.
IMPROVING EARLY EDUCATION
Better quality public school education in Amigos’ Model Classrooms accounts for up to 60% improvement in reading ability among our 180 students.
EMPOWERING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
Amigos has helped establish 8 women-run businesses in Santa Cruz, empowering women to demand equal rights, healthier homes, and a voice in their community.
EACH YEAR AMIGOS…
DELIVERS school supplies to 1,700+ students across 12 Santa Cruz schools.
SUPPORTS 57 middle school, high school, and university students with scholarships.
PROVIDES 400+ preschool and primary school students with healthy snacks.
TRAINS 400+ adults and youth in vocational courses, including culinary arts, carpentry, and weaving.
EDUCATES 600+ primary and middle school students in sexual and reproductive health education.
ALL OF THIS IMPACT IS MADE POSSIBLE BY YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT
MEET THE FACES OF CHANGE IN SANTA CRUZ
MODEL CLASSROOM BOARD PRESIDENT
Paulina Santos was one of the first Amigos scholarship recipients to receive her high school diploma. Now with a family of her own, she is standing up for her children and leading the fight for better public education in Santa Cruz. As the first woman to serve on the school’s parental governing board, and the President of Amigos’ model classroom parent’s association, she is demanding more from teachers, school directors and even Ministry of Education officials. Paulina is a powerful woman, effecting positive change in her community so that her children may have even more opportunities than she did.
BENJAMIN CANEL PÉREZ
RESTAURANT ASSISTANT AT LAGUNA LODGE HOTEL
Benjamin comes from the small remote village of Chuitzanchaj. He is 23 years old, married and has 2 children. Benjamin grew up with his father on a farm. He dreamed of studying agronomy but couldn’t afford the tuition. When Benjamin finished high school, CECAP offered him a scholarship to study in the Culinary Program. Benjamin started work at Isla Verde Restaurant, Arca de Noe and now works at Laguna Lodge, one of the most prestigious destination hotels on Lake Atitlán. Benjamin’s dream is to travel to the United States to experience world renowned restaurants.
NICOLASA HERNANDEZ &
JAIBALITO MUSHROOM BUSINESS OWNERS
Tomasa and Teresa are part of the “Lake Paradise” Mushroom Cultivation Business in Jaibalito started with Amigos’ support in 2017. Teresa, mother of 3, was not able to attend school and cannot read and write. Tomasa, who has one child and finished the 5th grade, is literate. Neither Tomasa nor Teresa has been employed outside the home before starting the business with 5 other indigenous women. For many of the women, it is the first stable income they have ever had. Nicolasa, Tomasa and the group are now running a successful business, building their entrepreneurial skills and self-esteem each day.
GENERATIONAL CHANGE IN ACTION
Dominga, Estela, Cristina, and Rosalia were all in the 2nd grade when Amigos first delivered school supplies to help the public school in 1998. All four women continued on to complete high school, the first generation in their village to do so, and several even continued on to university. Today, all four are on the staff of Amigos, taking on increasing responsibility and leadership in the organization and in their community. They represent a new generation of educated youth that are truly changing Santa Cruz.
PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT:
DOMINGA SIMÓN HERNÁNDEZ
CRISTINA HERNÁNDEZ TEPAZ
ROSALIA SIMÓN PÉREZ
BECOME AN AMIGO
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