Our Project

Our project supports sustainable qualitative education to poor Maya children in the small village of San Juan Gomalapa in Guatemala. Through decent basic education we want to give these children the possibility to follow higher studies and increase their chances in finding a job at later stage. Courses are given by Maya teachers with a strong focus on gender equality. The school also gives medical and social support to the poorest families of the children.
Go to History

History

The school is led by Camila Mendoza, who started this initiative with her husband in 1996. Very soon, more classes and, thus, more funding were needed. Unfortunately, the government would not support this private initiative and the poor local community could not pay for private education. When a Belgian group of friends visited the school in 2003, they immediately decided to support the school financially. Finally, in 2007, the association AJPOPOLI VZW was created with the purpose of giving support to this educational project.

Go to Guatemala

Guatemala

Guatemala is “the country of eternal spring”, but remains one of the most poor and violent countries in Latin America. Especially Indian communities, such as the Mayas, live in difficult and poor conditions. Guatemala is a beautiful country, but still has to overcome a lot of political, economic and social issues. The country and its population are slowly recovering from a thirty year civil war, which ended in 1996.

Go to Comalapa

Comalapa

San Juan Comalapa is a small mountain village located 80 km Northwest of the capital. The majority of the population are Maya Indians living in poor conditions. Education is only limited and many people are analphabetic. Most men cultivate vegetables for their own use on small pieces of land. Women often stay at home and try to support their families by creating and selling small linen craftwork on the local markets. As their income is very low, parents cannot afford education for their children. The local language is Kaqchikel, while Spanish is only being taught at school.

The School

The school is called “Centro Educativo Ajpopoli’ Ak’wala” (ie. bringing wisdom to the youth) and gives education to 300 pupils from the 3rd kindergarten until the 3rd secondary grade. 60% of the students are girls. Ajpopoli vzw entirely finances the 24 teachers and staff members of the school through foster parents programs and other funding campaigns. Camila Mendoza Pérez, born in 1961, is the school’s key person. Her husband, Pantaleon Simon, with whom she founded the school, passed away in 2005. Camila was fortunate to get proper school education and studied for teacher. In 2014, she obtained a degree in Psychology and Social Counseling through weekend schooling. Her commitment to the school and the childrens’ local families is huge. Families often ask for advice and support in social, psychological, medical and financial matters.

Our Team

In this project, every board member assists as a volunteer. At least twice a year, a board member visits Gomalapa to meet the children and their families, to audit the accounts and to evaluate the proper management of the school. Throughout the year, the school’s management and our team have frequent contact.

Lou Decime

The startup of the school by some teachers and their social responsiveness to help the local community convinced me and some friends to found Ajpopoli vzw. Our goal is to support and further develop the school.

Raïssa Peeters

Following my traineeship in Guatemala and my many visits to the school in Comalapa I decided to help setting up the Ajpopoli organization. I am convinced that our organisation is contributing by supporting the school in improving the lives of this community and I hope that this may continue thanks to your well appreciated support.

Annemie Swartelé

Every time I visit the school I am so impressed by the excellent work which is being done by Camila and her staff. Hence I decided to assist the organization by giving administrative support and being the contact person for the foster parents of the children of our school.

Adi Decime

As a foster parent, I also assisted in founding Ajpopoli VZW. I am responsible for the correct and fully transparent accounting..

PIET VERMEERSCH

My family and I have been foster parents since 2012. Now, we support 2 children. My key motivation is the knowledge that my little contribution to this project makes a huge difference in these children’s future

MARINA GORIS

Each time I visit the school, I feel humble again. The incredible dedication of the school management and teachers and the enthusiasm of the students motivate me to fully engage myself for this project.

KOEN VANCLOOSTER

I became foster parent in 2009, because I am convinced that good education is the best solution to remedy poverty in the long run. I have committed myself to Ajpopoli VZW, because the association members all truly operate as volunteers, i.e. in organising fund raising activities and finding new enthusiastic foster parents.

MAGGY COLLA

You cannot imagine what a small contribution as foster parent means in Guatemala. Being able to go to school opens the window to the world and gives a future to the poorest. This makes me happy.

Support Us

You can become a Foster Parent of a Maya child for only 21 Euro euros per month or 250 Euro euros per year.
In Belgium, your financial donation is for 45% fiscally deductible.

IBAN: BE82 0000 9019 7468
BIC: BPOT BE B1
From S.O.S. (Scheut Ontwikkelingssamenwerking)
With mention: 08 502 001 – Ajpopoli

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SUPPORT US

IBAN: BE82 0000 9019 7468

BIC: BPOT BE B1

From SOS (Scheut Development Cooperation)

With mention: 08 502 001 - Ajpopoli

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