Almost 10 years after the landslide that destroyed their school, over 500 children of San
Antonio are finally going to be moving into a new permanent school building. If all goes
according to plan, the students will begin the 2020 school year in their new school.
As with most Guatemalan schools, this one is only built to receive half the students at one time.
Students will attend in morning/afternoon shifts. There is some complaint from the community
that the school is already too small for the number of students who need an education.
However, it’s a huge improvement over the hot and crowded conditions of the hastily-
constructed ‘provisional’ school that has housed the students for the past 5 years.
The tract of land that ICO purchased is slated to be the playing field for the students. It’s not
right beside the school, but close enough for PE activities and football games in a community
where there is very little space to run and play.
So how will ICO next be involved? The Guatemalan government is only committed to
constructing the shell of the building. All amenities like furniture, library books, computers, etc.,
must be provided by the community of San Antonio. Our team has collected enough money to
help in some way. Last February, two of our volunteer team – Susan and Mary – met with the
two principals of the provisional school (who will probably move with the students to the new
structure) to discuss the needs of the new school, and how we might help most effectively. This
discussion is still continuing. We hope by this coming January/February, when the students
move in, to have a clearer picture of how we can most effectively enhance the learning
environment of the new school. Keep posted!