I've spent 3 summers volunteering at the School of Hope with EFTC since originally discovering the school during my search for volunteer opportunities abroad. The school provides everything from nutritious meals to psychologists and healthcare for their students. The individual attention that each student receives is unparalleled.
I've volunteered in both English and Spanish speaking classrooms. The teachers and students have always welcomed me without hesitation. The students are always eager to meet the volunteers and learn about them. The school is always willing to accommodate any special skills you have as well, especially with their after school programs. I've now been sponsoring a student for two years as well, and love get updates from him. Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better volunteer opportunity.
Visited this school a couple years ago. Was able to spend lunch and recess with the students and teachers. It was a great experience serving them lunch and listening to them practice their English. I’m happy in my small way to be able to support the school.
I had the privilege of visiting EFTC in Guatemala in 2015 and was amazed at the wonderful work being undertaken there. I could sense a genuine care that each of the staff members had for the children and families that benefit from the program. Most of all, I was impressed with the kids! It was a great visit and has inspired me to continue following their efforts even after I left. What an amazing organization!
I've been involved with EFTC since 2012, first as a volunteer, then as a board member, and now as the director of their USA-based branch. I've visited and volunteered at the school multiple times. I'm always impressed with how happy the students are and how dedicated their teachers are. The staff is well-organized, cheerful, and always excited to meet new volunteers and get them involved at the school.
I was a volunteer at the School of Hope for two weeks in May 2017, and due to my amazing experience there, I decided to return to Guatemala and volunteer for another two weeks the following year. I am also a sponsor to a student at the School of Hope.
During my time at the School of Hope, I felt very welcomed by the staff. They treated with a great amount of respect for doing what I could to help out. Despite the language barrier that I had due to my limited experience of speaking and understanding Spanish, the staff were amazing at meeting me at the level of Spanish I was at by being patient and taking my abilities into consideration. The volunteer coordinator at the School of Hope does an excellent job of checking in on volunteers to see how they are doing throughout their volunteer experience as well.
The School of Hope itself is a great place for the students as it truly works to improve the quality of their lives. The School of Hope focuses on not only education as its main priority, but also nutrition, hygiene, and emotional well-being. I believe this is one of the many great qualities that sets this school apart from others, and I deeply admire how active the School is in bettering the lives of the students and even the families of the students.
As for my experiences interacting with the students at the School of Hope, I have to say that they are the most wonderful, memorable, and eye-opening experiences I have had. I went into my volunteer experiences there thinking that I would make an impact in the lives of the students there, but I was shocked to find that the students were the ones to impact my life. I learned so much from my volunteer experiences there. The children taught me that you don't need a lot of money or materialistic things to be happy; that no matter how different we may seem from one another, we are all connected; and most importantly, that love has no boundaries. The children there love volunteers, and will show you love regardless of who you are, where you come from, or what language you speak.
Because I loved working at the School so much and because I loved working with the children there, I decided during my first two weeks that I would become a sponsor to a student at the school. I was able to sponsor one of the students I had worked with in my assigned classroom. My sponsorship experience has been nothing but positive. The sponsorship coordinator is very friendly and helps you maintain a relationship with your sponsor child if you wish to by coordinating Skype calls, acting as a translator, sending letters and pictures, and so much more. I can't express how great of an honor it has been to be a sponsor, and how blessed I am that I was able to see my sponsor child a second time to see how he had grown and how he had progressed in his academics at the School of Hope. Being a sponsor is an absolute privilege and such a lovely experience!
Overall, working as a volunteer at the School of Hope has been the most incredible experience. I am looking forward to returning sometime in the future! I highly recommend volunteering here to anyone who wishes to have a positive and enlightening service experience. The School of Hope, the staff, the students, and my sponsor child will always have a special place in my heart, and if you're lucky enough to be able to volunteer there, they will all have a special place in yours too.
I had the privelage of volunteering at the school of hope for 2 weeks. The teachers and other faculty were incredibly welcoming. This kids radiate positivity and are balls of energy. Everyone is incredibly grateful for all the help they receive and all the help they definitely deserve.
surrounded by mountains and filled with positivity and laughter, the school is a place the children and staff look forward to going to every day because they know it's changing lives. as a volunteer there you are welcomed warmly and made to feel useful for however long you stay. it makes a big difference if you speak spanish or are improving as the kids dont speak much english.
An absolutely incredible charity! I spent almost 5 months volunteering at the school in Jocotenango, and it was an amazing place to work. All of the staff are wonderfully dedicated to the vision they share for the project and the kids themselves are truely amazing children who love having volunteers work with them and who you will love seeing everyday and help to learn. You become friends with them as well as staff in their eyes. The only difficult aspect of working there was the day I had to leave and say goodbye to the kids!
From the moment you step onto EFTC's campus you can tell it is a special place. The staff is entirely welcoming and they set their volunteers up for success.
The school takes a holistic approach to education ensuring that their students are well fed, healthy, and receiving all the attention they need to flourish despite their difficult circumstances. This includes parent trainings, scholarship services, on site psychologists, a school nurse, two meals a day, and a qualified staff that makes it all happen.
The school is full of laughter and truly is creating a place of hope in Jocotenango. I would highly recommend volunteering here or doing what you can to ensure that the organization gets to continue its incredible work in Guatemala.
EFTC is one of the most incredible non-profits I have ever worked with. The work done at their School of Hope is nothing short of magic. Having served as a volunteer at the school for the last 5 months, I have witnessed firsthand the impact the school has on the lives of the children it serves.
Utilizing a holistic approach to education, the school provides much more than quality academic learning (which is on par with or better than national government standards). Students receive psychological and social services, healthy and nutritious meals, regular medical check-ups, and, if they successfully graduate, scholarships for high school and university.
The teachers are friendly and do a great job of involving and making use of eager volunteers. The volunteer program is organized and incredibly well run. And the kids...well, they are some of the most amazing, sweet, loving kids you’ll ever meet. Even with as little as they have in this world, and as much as you might think they have to be sad about...they still show up every day with a smile.
If you’re seeking a rewarding and inspiring volunteer experience, be sure to check out EFTC.
I took a later in life career break and spent several months at the School of Hope. The school welcomes volunteers and allow you to bring your skills to a variety of roles. My Spanish was very rusty but I was paired with an English class and by the end I was helping in Spanish too. This place is such a heart warming, loving and caring place and seeing the students develop in a safe environment is fantastic. I love the School and what it stands for. I visit every year now!
I spent a year teaching English at The School of Hope in Guatemala. In addition to the amazing students at the school, it is obvious that the staff is doing the best they can to create a foundation that truly puts its students first. It is an amazing, inspiring place to visit, and an incredible organization to be involved with.
My experience as an English teacher with EFTC was wonderful! The program provides children with a well-rounded educational experience, catering to not only their educational needs but their emotional and physical needs as well. The staff is amazing, and I am so glad to have had the experience and to be part of the EFTC family!
Education For The Children is an incredibly engaged, dedicated, and inspiring organization. Not only is it a space of classroom learning, but it is also a place for growth and well-being beyond just the academic aspect. The all-encompassing approach to education and childhood development provides a complete framework, ranging from nutritional meals and health services and life skills to outdoor activities and therapy spaces such as The Garden of Hope to long-term sponsorship programs ensuring sustainable learning and stability and attention given to each child. The awareness of both local and international spheres is remarkable; as an organization it always considers how to be culturally adapted and engaging whilst at the same time ensuring the children have opportunities reaching far and wide through bilingual programs and the school’s international outreach and relevance. Volunteers, teachers, staff members, and sponsors from around the world all come from their different paths of life to share, experience and contribute to the growth and development of children who, despite their challenging living conditions, are hard-working, positive and caring, and make the school a truly wonderful place.
As of me taking a little bit of time out of my day to type this review, I have officially been working/volunteering with EFTC at the School of Hope in Jocotenango for over a month. I've loved my time here so far, and I can honestly say that the services provided by this school and this foundation are invaluable and irreplaceable. Children at the school receive an education that would be otherwise inaccessible; and the joy on their faces we see every morning as they filter through the gates and into school is absolutely heartwarming.
Along with education, EFTC has an outstanding support infrastructure for its students. The School provides two meals per day, water filtration systems to the classrooms, and the homes of many students, and other things many take for granted like a school nurse, school psychologist, and computer labs. Additionally, graduates receive a full scholarship to continue their education through high school and university. When you see everything going on at the school, you can't help but believe in the mission that the students and staff are working so diligently to achieve.
Volunteering with EFTC has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I've heard many volunteers talk about their plans to return even before they've left. I'd highly recommend supporting the foundation through whichever means work for you, with coming to Guatemala and spending time at the school being at the top of that list.
I first discovered this NGO during my gap year in 2009. The foundation has such an impressive model, not only are they providing education to the students at the school, but they have numerous initiatives that help further break down barriers so that the entire families of each student reap the rewards of higher education. The education provided at the school is based on evidence-based models and includes life skills as well as health and wellness. Not only does EFTC make sure that the students are taught important skills and material that will provide them with opportunities throughout life, but they also help create a safe, healthy living environment for these children at home. Children that attend the school are fed nutritional meals every day at school. At home, their families are provided with access to water filters and clean, safe cooking stoves and, when the need arises, the foundation provides help for families needing food assistance. The foundation has clear expectations for the families of those enrolled in the program, and they provide assistance with the understanding that these families will comply and be actively involved in their children's education. I have returned to the school four times since my initial trip because I found it to be such a wonderful place filled with happy, appreciative students and their families. I truly support the foundation and all the amazing work that they do.