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Roots and Wings International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, International, International Human Rights, International Relief, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: Roots & Wings International promotes elementary through university education in rural Guatemala. We work with indigenous youth whose families earn $2 per day growing coffee. Our work is rooted in recognizing the importance of culturally responsive education that empowers students to connect their cultural identity with sustainable social and economic development.

Results: * University Scholarship Program: 40 sponsored to study in Guatemalan universities. Seeking sponsors to provide 50 more. * After-School Tutoring Program: 250 sponsored. In need to help total of 600 elementary students graduate. * Computer Literacy Program: 25 Computers for 600 children. Donor sponsorship in need to expand program. * Academic counseling and career guidance for 250 youth per year * Monthly development meetings by our university scholars to plan and resolve local development issues. * Currently seeking funding of $1.5 million to construct a high school for the Boca Costa region.

Target demographics: Indigenous youth in rural Guatemala whose household income is $2/day.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500 (265 children in our computer and tutoring programs; 200 in our academic counseling programs; 35 in our scholarship program)

Geographic areas served: Southwest Guatemala in the mountains of the Boca Costa region. Specifically the dozens of villages surrounding Pasac in Nahualá, Sololá, about 3 ½ hours from Guatemala City.

Programs: Computer Literacy for Kids, After-School Tutoring for Elementary Students, University Scholarship.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Roots & Wings International ("RWI") is a testament to local leaders and youth who have fully taken the reins of development in their own communities by promoting elementary through university education. The organization has grown thanks to the initiative of local leadership and a global team of volunteers and donors who offer time, skills, and resources to promote RWI's mission of changing lives through education.


Rating: 5

I've supported Roots and Wings from it's beginning. It is a grass roots organization that has been clear about it's mission, monetarily responsible, and consistently successful in reaching well thought out goals and outcome objectives. They provide a way to change the world one child at a time.


Rating: 5

Roots and Wings International has been an extraordinary nonprofit to volunteer for. I've been encouraged to contribute according to my skill set and time availability, and also to expand my area of knowledge and grow right along with the organization. As a volunteer with RWI, I am part of a team of incredibly talented professionals who have in common a sincere desire to help provide education opportunities to the capable but underprivileged indigenous people of Guatemala. Through my association with Roots and Wings International, I've been able to take part in the mission to "Change Lives Through Education."

Shadi M.


Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Roots and Wings International in 2008. Though, initially, I only helped to update the organization's Twitter and Facebook feeds, I was soon given more responsibilities, which I gladly accepted. The thing that separates RWI from other not-for-profit organizations is the volunteer community. I've volunteered for organizations that treated me like I was just another resource they could use to achieve their goals. As a volunteer for RWI, I feel like part of a family. We communicate with each other about things other than the work we're doing, so it's never strictly business.

There are many examples of this great camaraderie. After I started doing copywriting work for RWI, I received an email from another volunteer stating that my picture was going on the organization's staff page. This was quite an honor. I was doing the work without expecting anything in return, and RWI recognized my commitment by making me an official part of the family.

Outside of volunteering, I think that RWI is a strong organization that is dedicated to providing education for indigenous Guatemalans. About 90% of the money the organization receives goes directly to the people we need to help. That's something that doesn't happen in large not-for-profits like Amnesty International. I believe so strongly in the work that RWI is doing that I regularly donate to big campaigns like their Computer Literacy and After-School Tutoring programs.

If you're looking to volunteer for a not-for-profit and believe, as I do, that every child should have the right to a quality education, then you should volunteer with RWI. Few organizations are more deserving of good volunteers.