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 ::   Guatemala  ::  

Fe y alegria in Guatemala

Historical summary
Lines of action
New challenges

Historical summary

Fe y Alegría en Guatemala (6Kb)Fe y Alegria Guatemala was founded in the year 1976 due to the efforts of the Jesuits and the Mercedarian Sisters.  The earthquake that occurred that year aggravated the shortage of school buildings and caused a proliferation of marginal settlements.  In such a situation Fe y Alegria began the work of seeking financing to build and run schools for the poor.  Between 1976 and 1982 the first five schools were established, and relationships were developed with the government, the church, business leaders and collaborators.

Fe y Alegría en Guatemala (6Kb)The second stage, from 1983 to 1993, was characterized by the expansion of educational coverage, a better definition of the pedagogical nature of our work and the upgrading of the processes.  Fe y Alegria began to open programs other than those of formal education, such as literacy training and the development of small businesses; at the same time the area of formal education began to encompass rural and bilingual education.

From 1994 to the present the process of institutionalization has brought about greater participation of lay people in key posts.  We continue to seek a pedagogical model that insists on quality education, and we are improving the administrative capacity of our staff.  Nonetheless, despite great efforts, we still are confronted with the problem of financial limitations which have slowed down our growth in recent years.

Lines of action

  1. Formal education in schools that are located in marginal urban or in rural areas:  they include pre-primary, primary and secondary/occupational levels, as well as a teacher-training school.  Several of the schools develop activities in the Mayan languages.
  2. Literacy training: mainly for adults in country areas who speak Mayan languages.
  3. Small business training: the program helps an average of 3,000 small-businesspeople yearly with loans, administrative and technological training, and business counseling, especially in the area of handicrafts, small manufacturing, sales and services.


  1. The principal strength of Fe y Alegria Guatemala consists in its identity, its mission and its objectives.  Allied to this are its enterprising boldness, its principled austerity in managing its resources, and its strong work mystique;  these have been major factors contributing to the unity of all who collaborate in the work, including directors, educators, administrators, service personnel, parents, students, community organizations, and volunteers both local and foreign.
  2. The efficiency of the work, which can be seen in the wise investment of resources and the solid impact it has on the people we serve, has been recognized by financial and administrative audits conducted by the Ministry of Education.  The National Literacy Commission has also cited Fe y Alegria as the organization which has done the most efficient job of literacy training.
  3. As part of its work in the problematic of the “informal” economy Fe y Alegria has represented in the Ministry of Economy the organizations which provide small loans and has become part of the National System for Small Business Development.

New challenges

  1. Developing a program that provides permanent training in and evaluation of our mission, our identity and our institutional goals.
  2. Developing a permanent training program which is up to date and efficient and which meets our administrative and management needs.
  3. Designing mechanisms that allow for the integration and the organized participation in our operations of the principal actors who have direct or indirect relationships with Fe y Alegria, including beneficiaries, clients and aid agencies.
  4. Create a permanent program for the selection, hiring, induction, qualification, formation, evaluation of the performance and policies of promotion of the personnel, and to develop institutional a wage policy.
  5. Revising, systematizing and making known the significant training and formation experiences that answer the educative needs that present-day society presents to us.



Director: Miquel Cortés Boffil S.J.
Oficina: 12 Avenida 2-07, Zona 1
C.P. (0101) - 01001
Guatemala -Guatemala
Teléfonos: (502) 23240000
Fax: (502) 23240001
Correo-e del Director: /