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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, International, International Relief, Literacy, Promotion of International Understanding

Mission: To improve the quality of and access to education in Guatemala, and to cultivate interconnectedness between the peoples of Guatemala and the United States.

Results: 11 schools receiving grants for school improvement 0ver 60 students receiving scholarship assistance, with 18 attending university 2 after school learning centers

Target demographics: Children living in poverty-impacted villages in the highlands of Guatemala

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 1600 students in 13 village schools, provided scholarships to over 70 students, 17 of whom were attending university

Geographic areas served: Guatemala

Programs: 1. Grants for School Improvement in Guatemala 2. Guatemala Scholarship Program 3. After-School Learning Centers 4. Service and Study Abroad in Guatemala 5. U.S.-Guatemalan School-to-School Partnerships

Community Stories

64 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Caroline E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ann, Gary, and Gustavo are dedicated to the people of Guatemala. They create a relationship with the entire community - students, teachers, and families. They empower the community to determine the needs, set the priorities, and then assist where those needs are. Awesome organization dedicated to education and justice for all!

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been supporting this particular charitable group for several years now. It has been really fun and satisfying to see how their reach and results have expanded over time.
This is a group that is making tangible progress and improving children's lives and futures.

Jeff135

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful nonprofit that helps with schoolchildren in a bottom up approach. They work within the community along with local people and try to provide materials and opportunity. You can't do everything but you can do a little. Avivara uses a very nice, locally supported, incremental approach to improving the educational experience and opportunities.
I was most impressed when we visited Guatemala and saw the schools and the children first hand. We were also able to meet a graduate of a business school where she was in management of a nice small hotel. I can recommend Avivara based on years of contributions and by seeing them in action in Guatemala.

Mary478

Board Member

Rating: 5

In 2009, a group of friends incorporated the New Mayas Society in the State of Missouri to assist with funding and other projects for Centro De Formacion Nuevos Mayas ( School for New Mayas) in the town of Xix, El Quiche, Guatemala. www.newmayas.org. The school houses middle and secondary students who come from remote villages in the highlands, as well as students from Xix and nearby villages. We had associated ourselves with a non-profit in St. Louis MO, but found it to our benefit to work with Avivara, as the founders and administrators live in Guatemala. We could not be happier with this relationship. Funds are managed in a completely- professional manner; supporters are notified and thanked as the donations are received, and transfers are made on a schedule allowing both the school staff and our organization to plan. Knowing that we can turn to the Avivara staff in order to get updates on the social, political and cultural situation in Guatemala provides extra assurance that we are making good decisions about our support--in Avivara we we have highly-competent consultants on call. Mary Lois Sennewald: President, New Mayas Society.

Donor

Rating: 5

Avivara is doing great things for impoverished kids and families in Guatemala - supporting schools and helping kids reach college through mentorship and direct financial support. Their impacts are long-term (multi-generational) and widely felt. This is a very small but effective organization. Dollars are wisely spent and not wasted.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting Avivara for 5 years now and watched it grow significantly. I am continually impressed with the great strides and advances in education this limited staff organization brings to the children of Guatemala. Gustavo Valle and his team on the ground in Guatemala are working with schools, especially in the rural areas, to provide a better education to those who are so poorly served. I was recently impressed with their story of a young woman who was the first in village to attend high school.
The local board is a very dedicated and energetic group and I believe they will make a difference, one child, one school at a time. I highly recommend this organization for their commitment and dedication and the differences they make with limited resources. Five stars!

Donor

Rating: 5

Avivara adheres to the highest philosophical principles of social justice - asking what students and teaching staff in rural schools want, rather than imposing an outside vision. And the work is effective and meaningful. And it is performed gracefully by merely a three person staff. This is a rare combination.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Avivara has been continuing its track record of commitment to listening to rural Guatemalan communities and providing a desired service - facilitating education for bright and motivated students who are hobbled only by economics. With an exceptionally high donor value per dollar, Avivara has been gradually increasing the number of scholarships that they provide each year, while still operating under the wise and just practice of planning the finances for the entire trajectory of study. Gustavo, Ann, and Gary do a great job. I still exchange remote greetings with one of the very first Avivara students, who was a stand-out in the junior high English class I helped teach, and who now has gone on through high school and university in Accounting, very successfully bridging the difficulty gap between remote farming outpost and professional urban livelihood.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Avivara put almost all of their fundraising into programs of grants to schools and scholarships for students. They have supported some students all the way to professional school! They work very effectively with Guatemalan educators.

Caroline E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization meets the communities it serves where they are at. Together they set the priorities and move together from there. They not only provide needed school supplies, but educate the teachers and parents - working with whole communities! Their scholarship program for older youth continues to grow. After visiting and working with them at the rural schools and at that time an after school program, I feel confident their work is essential to rural Guatemalan schools and they are making a difference by serving the communities and teaching the communities how to continue and grow in educating their children as well as adult leaders.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ann, Gary, and Gustavo are dedicated to the people of Guatemala. They create a relationship with the entire community - students, teachers, and families. They empower the community to determine the needs, set the priorities, and then assist where those needs are. Awesome organization dedicated to education and justice for all!

Read more

Board Member

Rating: 5

Avivara is a really special non-profit - a partnership between the people of US and Guatemala where education is promoted and students are empowered in some of the most impoverished and forgotten areas in rural Guatemala. On a programmatic level, Avivara listens to the Guatemalan communities it serves using its funds very expediently, always evolving and adjusting to the needs of the Guatemalan community it works in, including adjusting for natural disasters. When Avivara commits to providing a scholarship for a child, they support that child all the way through college, if desired. It is an honor and privilege to serve on the Board and I believe Avivara is a great model of how a multi-national grassroots NGO can make a strong impact with small but dedicated team and resource base.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Avivara is a shining non-profit; clear, contextual, and impactful in its mission to to improve education in rural Guatemala and the communities in which they serve. Gary, Ann, Gustavo and the team are truly collaborative in their work with schools, local governments and other Guatemalan NGO’s to accomplish major projects (new classrooms, computer labs, school libraries, etc.) and improve children's lives through scholarships for education for over 90 students in the coming year. I am impressed by Avivara's strong management of resources, where impressively 94% of expenditures go towards programs and only 6% to administration and fundraising expenses. Avivara does a great job of regularly sharing updates, current events and historical education about Guatemala, the US, and our countries' interconnectedness. As a Boardmember, stakeholder and professional with experience in the field of International Development, it is a delight to steadily be enriched by the stories, inspiration and connection to the commitment of this NGO to improve education in Guatemala and the world.

Tara57

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have visited the programs and people Avivara serves. It is an incredibly effective organization. They are diligent about using funding to make the most impact while also having the communities choose where they need assistance rather than imposing their own ideas.
My personal favorite program is their scholarship program. Teachers recommend students who have the personal drive to succeed in school, but lack the resources needed. Rather than dropping out in 3rd grade, Avivara will help a student with the cost of school until they graduate from high school. Then they become bread winners for their family and it breaks the cycle that often exists with poverty. Every month students have a meeting with Avivara staff. The parents, grandparents, and other family members are all on board to help the child succeed and everyone is grateful.

This is an amazing organization worth supporting. Every dollar makes a difference! Seeing all of this first-hand is why I am now a board member and a donor.