Francisco Sanchez Villalta Middle School

Francisco Sanchez Villalta Middle School, El Limar, Guatemala

This Costa Foundation School is situated in the village of Jumaytepeque which is famous for its volcano and lagoon. 60% of the population lives in poverty and it is estimated that 18% live in extreme poverty. 95% of the population of Jumaytepeque are of Xinka ethnicity. A staggering 55% of the population is under the age of 20 years which creates a major challenge for the region to meet the demands of education and employment. 

The school is being run as a boarding school based on the “Teach a Man to Fish” model of sustainable agriculture schools for low-income young people in rural coffee growing communities. The intention here is to replicate the sustainable agriculture school model of Santa Ana Candelaria in Senahú.

The Costa Foundation has funded 5 classrooms, kitchen, furniture and textbooks. A fully equipped computer lab is being funded by local private companies and the municipality is funding fresh water, admin block, 2 dormitories and sanitation.

During the visit the children showed their guests coffee that they have grown and marketed and food items that they had prepared from local produce. We were also treated to a demonstration of local dancing in typical bright Guatemalan costumes.

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