A few years ago we began working with From Houses to Homes, a charity based in Guatemala that is has built over 1000 homes for families in Guatemala along with providing education and medical care. Please click on this link to get a real look into life in Guatemala and the wonderful work they do: From Houses to Homes
The state of the education system in Guatemala is substandard. Many classrooms, especially in rural Guatemala, do not have adequate teaching materials. With more than half the population living below the poverty line, many children – especially rural and Mayan children – are forced to drop out of school to help support their families or because they are unable to afford the cost of uniforms, books, supplies and transportation.
Of the 2 million children in Guatemala that do not attend school, the majority are Mayan girls living in rural areas. In fact, over half of the Guatemalan population is Mayan and less than 30% of poor, rural Mayan girls are enrolled in secondary school. Mayan girls in Guatemala are among the country’s most disadvantaged group with limited schooling, early marriage, frequent childbearing, and chronic poverty. The need to invest in education, particularly for undeserved girls, is acute.
Our friends at Nuestros Pasos are doing a great job helping us sponsor and support children (and young adults) with their education. More here: Nuestros Pasos (Our Steps)
The number 1 cause of death for children under the age of 5 in Guatemala is Respiratory Illness caused by using open fires inside the home. Imagine what it must be like to live in a home with no running water, a packed mud floor and an open fire next to where you sleep. By building specially designed ONIL stoves, TeamHelps has been able to help eliminate the resulting respiratory illness and lower death rates. The stoves also cut down on burn injuries and provide a much safer and healthier home environment. The stove has a more global advantage as well – it’s better for the health of the environment. Using the ONIL stove reduces wood consumption by 80%. As a result, families use less wood – helping to slow down the damage done to the environment by deforestation and carbon emissions.
Sixty percent of all disease is water borne and the lack of clean drinking water is the daily concern. Most rural people draw water from rivers, streams, ponds, or rainwater, which may be the only sources of water. Water may be murky, with an unpleasant odour and taste and can easily be a source for disease and infection. Even clear and apparently fresh water may be polluted with microscopic disease-causing pathogens, with children being especially vulnerable.
We provide Gravity Water Filters for the families that we build for to help ease this risk.