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Classrooms for Laguna Danta


Laguna Danta is an idyllic mountain village of the K’iche Maya, nestled in the western highlands of Guatemala. The weather is cool and fog rolls in and blankets the lush village each day. Its 67 families endured much suffering during the protracted civil war in the 1970s and 1980s and the villagers are wary of outsiders.. Fortunately, some of the UbF volunteers had established a trusting relationship with the community the prior year during the construction of a communal station for the women to wash their dishes and clothes.

In March of 2011 the teachers of the small elementary school of Laguna Danta requested the assistance of UbF in the construction of two new classrooms for the students. They explained that a government offer of financial incentives to families who send their children to school resulted   in an abrupt surge in enrollment.  While it is heartening to see the increase in school attendance, it has put a burden on the educational system as there was not adequate classroom space to accommodate them all.

Due to a lack of classroom space, groups of students were taught outdoors. This may sound like fun except that Laguna Danta is located in the high mountain cloud forest where it rains 10 months of the year.  It is often cold and damp and the children are completely exposed to the elements.

In 2012 UbF donors responded to this request.  Two new classrooms were built which included ceilings to reduce noise when it rains on the tin roof, good lighting, desks, white boards, a covered walkway and new latrines. UbF volunteers joined with the student, parents and teachers  in celebrating the inauguration of the new classrooms.

 

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