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Cooperative for Education

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: To help Guatemalan schoolchildren break the cycle of poverty through education.

We believe that all humans are born with abundant potential—we are destined to become creators, healers, innovators, builders, educators. We yearn to leave the world better than we found it.
But a child born into the generational cycle of poverty is too often stripped of this destiny. We believe that every child, no matter where they were born or what their circumstance, deserves the opportunity to determine their own story. That’s where education comes in. Education is about justice. Where poverty robs us of opportunities, education gives them back. Education levels the playing field. Education opens doors. We have a vision of a Guatemala transformed through education: a future in which every Guatemalan child learns to read and graduates high school with the skills they need to thrive. Is this a tall order? Yes. But is it possible? Absolutely. Because we know that when we empower young people with the opportunities to rise out of poverty, not only will they determine their own stories, they will shape the destiny of their country.

Target demographics: In Guatemala, it takes 12 years of education to support a two-person family above the poverty line, but 95% of poor, rural kids never reach that milestone. Many come from regions where the average level of education is less than two years. Families often live on less than $4 a day and can neither afford the direct cost of attending school (tuition and fees) nor the opportunity cost of keeping children in school when they could be working and contributing to the family’s income. In addition to economic challenges, students face many other pressures to drop out including alcoholism, gangs, child marriage, abuse, and a lack of support from their families.

Geographic areas served: Guatemala

Programs: The Rise Youth Development Program: identifies promising young students who would otherwise be forced to drop out of school, and gives them the tools to break the cycle of poverty. In addition to providing full academic scholarships, Rise offers comprehensive support services from mentors, counselors, and psychologists, and engages students in workshops, community service, and visits to local businesses and universities that transform the way they think about their futures.

The Spark Reading Program: trains primary-school teachers in effective reading instruction and provides them with a library of books. Teachers receive 60 hours of group training as well as individual support and instruction through in-class visits. They also receive approximately 60 to 200 high-quality children’s books (depending on grade level and class size), which enable them to read with their students every day.

The Computer Program: CoEd establishes Computer Centers in middle schools throughout the Western Highlands, providing young people with access to state-of-the-art technology. Each school community partners with CoEd to renovate or prepare a classroom to be a fully functioning Computer Center, with proper security, wiring, ventilation, and lighting. All equipment is purchased in-country (to secure the lowest possible price and contribute to the local economy) and installed once the space is ready. A typical Computer Center houses 12-20 current-model PCs or 40 current-model laptops.

The Textbook Program: provides a low-cost, sustainable solution for giving students access to textbooks. Every program participant “rents” a set of books in core subjects like math, science, Spanish language, and social studies for a small monthly fee (about $1.50). These fees are collected into a revolving fund which is used to replace the books as they wear out.

Community Stories

44 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Rachel P.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Coed is a wonderful organization creating real change. I really enjoyed participating in a service trip with them.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CoEd has developed a program to eliminate poverty in one generation through education. They have made it self sustaining so that it will impact future generations.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CoED is a program that gets books into classrooms in a self sustaining program. This opportunity for a good education can eliminate poverty in one generation.

Review from Guidestar

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our Helping Hands tour gave us a firsthand appreciation of CoEd's singular contributions to Guatemala's students and schools -- and its future. We worked alongside eager children and witnessed their creative, dedicated, CoEd-trained teachers. CoEd plans its projects with expertise and Guatemalan leadership and stays involved every step of the way, making sure their human and financial investments achieve their goals. The staff's knowledge, dedication, and professionalism are a model for any NGO. On top of that, the trip was fun and rewarding, with CoEd seeing to our care, feeding, entertainment, and enlightenment. This was our second Helping Hands tour, and far from our last.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My trip with Co-Ed to Guatemala was one of the best and most moving experiences of my life! Not only was the trip well-planned and executed, but I was blown away by the thoughtfulness of the staff and the thoroughness with which they approach the work they're doing at the schools they support, and that I get to support through them. I look forward to working with them many more times in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Farran Tabrizi C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an incredible experience at the CoEd Snapshot tour. The trip was a great blend of cultural immersion and an amazing learning experience. The whole time there I wished my family could be there with me experiencing it too. I plan to return with them in the near future!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

CoEd not only organized an amazing snapshot trip to Guatemala (my first!), but I found out they are a group of compassionate professionals who truly embody the Rotary theme "Service Above Self". I was worried about not speaking the language, but during my trip I learned some pretty amazing things about the world around me because of CoEd's staff being so knowledgeable. This was by far the best way to experience a snapshot of the Guatemala Literacy Project. The CoEd staff helped open my eyes to the beliefs and values other people and its influence on their everyday life. Although I would call this a once in a lifetime experience... I'm already planning my second tour with CoEd!

Review from Guidestar

Matt S.9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was my first time in Guatemala, first group tour, first volunteer trip. Boy, did I luck out. Incredibly professional, kind and passionate group of people. The accommodations, transportation, food and activities were all top-notch. A perfect balance of service work, fun, optional activities and down-time. I feel extremely fortunate to have met these folks, and through them a wonderful cross-section of Guatemalans. I'm used to traveling alone, but I'd do a Co-Ed trip again tomorrow if I could.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

We trusted CoEd to make our son’s first return trip to Guatemala a memorable, positive and safe experience. Our highest expectations were vastly exceeded through their friendly, caring and professional tour operation. I highly recommend CoEd for your travel plans to the beautiful country of Guatemala!

Review from Guidestar

1 smh2018

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just returned from watching the programs of Cooperative For Education being implemented in Guatemala. The staff went above and beyond in the planning of everything we participated in, watched, and heard, truly a gold standard for sustainable projects.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The GLP Tour that is run by CoEd is a well thought itinerary that gives its participants a wonderful overview of the work that is being done by CoEd in Guatemala. The chance to meet and interact with the students and teachers gives the participants a slice of life in the community. The rugged terrain adds to the understanding of the difficulties that everyone faces in Guatemala.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CoEd are doing an excellent job of trying to break the cycle of poverty. It's working but a long way to go. Keep up the great work!! More volunteers are needed to make this a great success!! Let's get on board everyone!! Book a tour and see what it's all about!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Rotary Club of Calgary (Downtown) is proud to be associated with the Guatemalan Literacy Program. Being the foreign champion of the project implemented this year has given us immense satisfaction. The money has been used so effectively. Truly the gold standard in Rotary projects.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

CoEd staff are dedicated to making a difference in Guatemala. They are joined by Guatemalan Rotarians who feel that the program will help to change the future of their country!

Review from Guidestar

Jerillyn C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The work this organization is doing is exactly what the world needs. Education is truly the only way to understand others to create peace and reverse the cycle of poverty.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled with Cooperative for Education to Guatemala to see their Guatemala Literacy Project in action, and I was totally impressed by what I saw. By providing books and computers to students, as well as teacher training to the teachers, CoEd is making a difference in breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My family has been a supporter of Cooperative for Education (CoEd) since 2014. When we became aware of the organization and their mission, the first place we checked them out was on GuideStar. After getting great results from our review, we decided that CoEd would be a partner to invest with. Both of our daughters are Guatemalan by birth. CoEd gave us a vehicle to continue to positively impact the lives of children in Guatemala, especially young women, in a broader albeit shallower way than with our girls. Since our initial introduction, we have come to know many of the employees of CoEd. They are without exception the greatest group of folks we have ever been associated with, and we feel we are better people just for knowing them. There are a lot of very worthy organizations to donate to. But I don't know one more worthy than Cooperative for Education.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

The staff is open and transparent. The staff of Cooperative fo Education live the mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been to Guatemala to see this project in action. I was so moved by it I returned with my wife. We have sponsored 3 students and I have traveled across the US to other Rotary clubs to tell them about this project. Breaking the cycle of poverty through education.

1 Thomas G.2

Donor

Rating: 5

These folks do great work for the children of Guatemala!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

COED made it possible for us to be able to help a Guatemalan girl become a nurse. This girl would not have been able to afford her education and is now working at a hospital and breaking away from poverty.

1 Karen Steele B.

Donor

Rating: 5

I just got back Monday and honestly could not have had a better experience. From the CoEd staff, learning about, and experiencing, CoEd’s programs and all the day to day logistics the group leaders managed was more than a 10/10. I could not have been more impressed with CoEd; this was definitely the best trip I have made to Central America! I couldn't feel more confident about supporting the work CoEd is doing in Guatemala to help children break the cycle of poverty. Thanks again.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

A really wonderful mix of tourism and service. Guatemala is wonderful and you see some great parts of it, even during the relatively short snapshot tour. But you also get real time in the schools with the kids and the families and the teachers and it's a truly moving experience. An easy-to-access, wonderfully curated tour with fun fellow travelers and committed guides-- cannot ask for much more!

Review from Guidestar