In Guatemala, we help young adults with scholarships to attend our technical school Sikaab’e where they can learn skills that will provide a vocation to provide for their family.
Sikaab’e is a technical school on 50 acres of land owned by CHOICE in the Polochic Valley of Guatemala. Named in Q’eqchi’, Sikaab’e means “Seek your Path” and allows students living in extreme poverty to realize their full potential. Sikaab’e is a place where a spirit of entrepreneurship, motivation, and innovation is fully supported. Located a 10-hour drive away from Guatemala City, most of the youth in the communities surrounding Sikaab’e do not have the opportunity for an education past the 8th grade, depriving them of a trade -- which denies them an exit strategy from living in extreme poverty. By providing vocational training, villagers can stay in their communities, find a job, or even create their own small businesses.
Sikaab'e provides meaningful opportunities for postsecondary education for both young men and women in the region. This vocational school helps to break the cycle of poverty by reducing premature teen parenthood and giving students a relevant career track.
Courses taught at Sikaab’e include masonry, welding, electrical, culinary arts, hospitality, carpentry, small engine repair, and mechanics. A host of agricultural certificates are also offered including animal husbandry, family gardening, crop rotation and diversification, cardamom and cacao production, and sustainable forestry.
The cost per student is $1,550 for a 3-month course. This covers the following:
- Test prep course (required by INTECAP) that ensures students get the necessary test score to attend Sikaab’e
- Government training fees for certification requirements
- Transportation and travel expenses related to village and student prep
- Internet/Computer expense necessary for continuing education
- Room and board
- Post-graduation financial literacy to prepare students to make good financial decisions
- Business training to ensure all students have the tools needed for continued success
- Measurement and evaluation to monitor impact for improvement and enhancement
- Employment assistance and placement of students post-graduation