Soon after we adopted Jamie from Guatemala in 2003, Karl and I began looking for a way to do something positive for the children of our new favorite country. We were introduced to Cooperative for Education by it's founders, brothers Jeff and Joe Berninger after they spoke at a meeting for adoptive parents of Guatemalan kids.
When Karl was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, he was constantly drilled on the importance of
project sustainability. Cooperative for Education, or CoEd, understands sustainability too, and is working hard and smart to break to cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education. They also offer the opportunity for regular folks to travel to Guatemala to inaugurate the projects and see firsthand, how students in rural Guatemala are benefiting from CoEd. The travel tours are very well organized and absolutely a ton of fun.
Karl, Anna and Mary traveled with the tour last week and are still pretty wound up. Sometimes the girls are so overcome by a hysterical memory of some Guatemalan experience that they both crack up and can't seem to explain to poor old mom what's so funny. I'm pretty sure that fits of laughter over just the memory of it all are a pretty good indication of a fun trip.
Anna and Mary in a classroom with the kids showing off their new school supplies.
Here is Mary with a young student...she was very impressed with his faux hawk. Apparently, there was a lot of hair product amongst many of the boys in class.
The cool Guatemalan students consider it big fun to teach the gringos some traditional dance steps. This was a bit of a challenge for Karl and the girls as they prefer to dance wildly with their hands up and shaking their groove things- but they managed to temper their free style dance moves.
Anna got to dance with the dude in the suit!
I can tell by her look that she is just itching to bust out and let her groove loose... way to hold it together Anna!
Boogie fever! I think it's coming around and around...
Got rainbow archway?
This was an entryway to one of the schools. I imagine that the night before they had all of the students blowing up balloons to create this masterpiece.
My daughters and their new young friends.
A lovely woman named Sarah Celi who is a reporter for our local news was on the tour and was kind enough to teach my daughters many different and stylish ways to tie a fashion scarf. They learned a lot of important stuff on the tour.
Anna and Mary thanked the students for the warm welcome.
At the same school, the students made signs welcoming each of the tour participants. Karl thought it was cool that his name was misspelled as "Kart."
My dear husband also won the tour superlative as "worst sport" as evidenced in this photo as he blocks the shot of the cute 7yr old during an impromptu basketball game.
"Those guys hardly deserved to win and I had an EXTREME height advantage that I just couldn't waste..." he said of the game.
Way to crush the competition, Kart.
Here is the link to Cooperative for Education.
Please visit their site and take a look at all of the good works they are doing.
It's a top notch non profit run by a remarkable staff dedicated to the belief that education is a basic human right and is essential to the elimination of poverty.