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Pura Vida Ministries

Creating a brighter future for children in Guatemala

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Scholarship Program

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Children (4-12 years)
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Native Americans
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

Pura Vida is arranging scholarships for children in rural Guatemala desiring to continue their education but are unable to for financial reasons. We are currently sponsoring children in all grades of elementary, middle, and high school. Schooling is just not affordable for most rural village residents. There are some really bright kids who just won't have the chance to go to school.

Guatemala provides free public education through sixth grade. But in rural areas such as Lemoa, children average less than two years in school; parents would rather have their children work in the fields or in the home. Girls especially are not encouraged to go to school. Also compounding the issue is the fact that most children in rural areas converse primarily in their indigenous language, and Spanish only in school. All of these factors have has contributed to a literacy rate of much less than 50% among the indigenous population.

Pura Vida has been offering scholarships in Guatemala since 2002. We have been working closely with parents to help them understand the long-term benefits of keeping children in school longer. These benefits are already becoming apparent -- children from the first few years of the program have undergone huge changes in maturity and ability. There is much promise in this program!

Your sponsorship is tied to education: it covers tuition, supplies, uniforms, bus fare, and tutoring. Tutoring is provided to students that need it since their parents generally have not attended school at that level. If you would like to sponsor the education of one of these students, either by yourself or as part of a group, please contact us for more information. Children are selected in early November each year for the program.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2018, we provided scholarships for:
- 146 primary students
- 194 secondary students
- 28 university students

Milk Program

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Families
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Native Americans
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent

Description

Support our annual Christmas Milk Program and help brighten the holidays for a poor family in Guatemala!

Donations are used to provide milk to the rural village of Lemoa, Guatemala. A 2.5-kg cannister of premium dehydrated whole milk can be purchased and delivered for only $12.50. That will make five gallons of 4% milk, which will provide months of vital nutrition to chronically malnourished children. Ordinary milk is not commonly available in the area, due the lack of refrigeration and poor health of the local cattle.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Every year since 2002, Pura Vida has distributed milk to approximately 300 families in Lemoa.

Water Purification Program

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

At-Risk Populations
Families
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Native Americans

Description

Tap water in Guatemala must be treated before drinking in order to avoid severe diarrhea. In the countryside, that means boiling it. Firewood is expensive, though, and many families fail to boil their water long enough. As a result, many of the children in our rural program villages are sick almost continually.

Ceramic pot filters are one of the most effective means of household water treatment in the developing world. We have identified Ecofiltro, a Guatemalan company, that makes filtration systems locally. The key to this type of project is to make it sustainable and self-perpetuating. EcoFiltro has a good plan in that respect, and they have staff on the ground full time in Guatemala.

There is no free access to potable water in our program villages, so all local families are on the same level in this respect. Once donations have been identified, Pura Vida village representatives compile a list of all families wanting a filter.

Once recipients have been identified and funds raised, Ecofiltro goes to the villages to distribute the filters to all households on the list. Ecofiltro also sets up "water boards" to collect the monthly fees to fund the replacement inserts. Pura Vida work groups are often on hand to witness the distribution.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

As a result of this program, hundreds of families in the western highlands of Guatemala are now able to drink safe water.

Work Trips

Class

Housing 

Beneficiaries

Families
Homeless
Native Americans
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent

Description

The emphasis of these trips is on developing relationships with local communities and sharing our time and resources with those who are in need.

Long Term Projects

Pura Vida allows the local indigenous communities to identify the needs -- we simply come and share. And once projects are started, we see them through to the end. You can be sure that the project you work on will not become a "ruin," but will be finished and maintained by other teams and the local workforce. Pura Vida is deeply involved in the local community as well, and always hires local labor to teach and work alongside our teams.

Teams typically work on church and community related construction projects. Our teams interact with the local population in ways that tourists simply cannot, taking advantage of relationships with local leadership built over many years. Meaningful connection with developing world cultures is beneficial to both sides, and is usually a highlight of these trips.

Watch, Listen, and Learn

The people of the Guatemala have much to share with us. Time spent on a work trip has a way of clearing your mind and ordering your priorities. You may return home a changed person! A work trip to Guatemala is an experience you will never forget. Come share your time and resources in a place where they can really make a difference. Step out of your comfort zone for a week -- you will be amazed what can happen.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Our work teams build 3 - 5 homes each year for needy families. We have also helped build classrooms for local schools.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.