27 Sep Quimal
The community of Quimal (“Place of hay”) is 7 miles from the town of San Martin Jilotepeque. With 180 families, it is a relatively large village. Despite its size, the community has no “basico” (middle school) classrooms. There are 3 middle school teachers in the community, but they have been teaching in the health center and in the elementary school classrooms, which are not suitable environments for teenage students to learn in. Guatemalan government regulations state that if a school does not acquire its own buildings within 5 years of formation, it will lose government support and the government won’t pay for teachers, maintenance or supplies. The basico teachers have been operating in Quimal for over 3 years in this unsatisfactory temporary situation, so they have limited time now for buildings to be constructed, else students in the community will once again have no way to further their education beyond 6th grade. Once completed, the middle school will serve not only the people of Quimal, but also students in two neighboring communities which lack their own middle school.