In 2009 PASO will provide five more sponsorships for a total of 15 students and cost of $2250 USD this year.

Our affiliated organization, Mayan Families, identifies, interviews, evaluates, arranges and monitors nearly 1000 sponsorships of children from needy families in the Panajachel-Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala.

Most sponsorships are at the primary level. Providing school shoes, gym shoes, t-shirt and shorts, pens, workbooks, uniform if required, backpack,etc. amounts to $160 CAD per primary student for one year.

Guatemala provides funding only for only the first six years of schooling. Only this year a new policy has ended the requirement of families paying a subscription fee. Cost, however, remains an issue, as schools have only received a very inadequate sum to cover the per pupil classroom requirements. Unesco figures suggest that scarcely 60% of children actually complete six years of schooling.

Basico schools offer programs for grades seven, eight and nine, but parents must pay a Q300 or more monthly subscription fee. Students wishing to go on to high school, college or university face much higher fee schedules. Sponsorships for Basico cost $350 USD, $450 for Diversificado (high school).

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