Mission: Xela AID empowers children and their families to break the cycle of poverty and to live healthier, more abundant lives through the opportunities afforded by education.
Results: A sampling. Since its inception in 1992, Xela AID's Work-Study Program has:
> Increased the number of years the average child is in school from just 3 years to 11
> Increased the percentage of girls in the program from just 2% to 53%
> Vastly outperformed the norm for children without assistance: 90% of our sponsored students stay in school through age 16 vs. just 3.3% without assistance, and 100% leave our program literate vs. 40%* in the general populace (*WHO 2013 report).
> Produced San Martín Chiquito's FIRST college graduates (3), and we've only just begun: There are more than EIGHTY children now sponsored and in school, following in the footsteps of these determined children!
> Our health programs serve more than 10,000 people each year
> Our preschool educates and feeds approximately 35 children five days a week
> Our Tesoros del Corazón Fair Trade Weaving Cooperative is preserving the ancient tradition of backstrap weaving while helping to feed and cloth a dozen families
> Our Leaders in Action training program is preparing 20 youth each year to take leadership roles in their communities, and the world
> Our Karen Edwards Women's Empowerment Project has made it possible for several dozen women to become literate, and continues to work to free women from the chains of illiteracy
> Our Micro-loan program has already funded the start-up of three successful small businesses!
> Our Dignified Housing Program has made it possible to families to recover their health, and their hope
> Our Volunteer Program has made it possible for more than 1,200 people to experience the joy of service to others...
For more information, visit us at http://www.xelaaid.org
Target demographics: impoverished children and families who seek to become highly productive and self sufficient
Geographic areas served: Current: Guatemalan Highlands
Programs: health care, preschool, work-study scholarships k-college, adult literacy, study center/tutoring, leadership training, micro-loans, support to a fair-trade weaving cooperative and more!
Briefly, I am a Family Doctor who also has a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine. I have gone on at least two dozen volunteer medical missions in my 20 years of practice and have seen the proverbial "give a man a fish and he eats only for a day", "spit in the ocean", "band aide care" given by most short term volunteer organizations, until I experienced a trip with Xela Aid in Guatemala. The greatest difference was Xela Aid has consistency in listening to the community they serve, then help THEM make their own changes. Xela Aid provides a consistent base of support in knowledge, trust, financial and friendships that have endured over twenty years and through a civil war. There is now a highly successful school scholarship program and a local clinic manned by a local doctor year round with a laboratory and pharmacy. It has branched into micro loans and youth entrepreneur mentoring programs creating new businesses by the next generation of "movers and shakers" in the political world of Guatemala.
A year ago I signed up for a volunteer vacation to a Mayan community in Guatemala and was so impressed with how effective and personal Xela-Aid is that I agreed to join the board as the Chair of the Micro-business and Leadership programs. I have stepped into a world that is vastly different from the one I know - where 15 year old students work at dawn in the fields so that they can afford to attend secondary school, and who seek an education so that they can help their parents and siblings. In spite of this, they find time to give back to their communities in significant ways. They are an amazing group of people and my life is so much richer for having gotten to know them and having the opportunity to be of help.