Armando 2020



My name is Armando Macz Col. I was born in 2003. When I was 2 years old, my mother had to fight between life and death due to a sickness, but thanks to the efforts of my family in raising funds for her care, we were able to save my mother. Unfortunately, since then our family has been facing financial difficulties so that sometimes we barely have enough money for food.

Currently I am studying the 5th year of the Intercultural Bilingual Infant Education Teaching program. I am learning what it takes to teach and socialize with kids or infants, as well as how to grade the work of children. I chose this career because it opens up opportunities to study further at the university level in different areas.

In the future I want to become a professional with the will to help others in an academic environment because nowadays many youngsters do not have the opportunity to study. I wish to speak English when needed and therefore I have made one of my goals to learn to become fluent in that language.  Nowadays, nobody in my community wants to learn English and therefore I think English will open up many more opportunities for me to find a job and accomplish my goal of helping youngsters with their education.

I am currently going to school two weeks every month. This is due to the pandemic but I also think is a great opportunity because some students do not even get to go to school; they are just having virtual classes. Virtual classes are quite difficult, especially in our village since getting access to the internet is not as easy as it is in some other places due to coverage. At least attending two weeks a month it is not as difficult as trying to figure out my homework by myself as if it were with virtual classes.

In my family I contribute to the obtaining of food that we need every day. I also help my dad cultivating corn, beans and cardamom. Cardamom, in our village, is actually the main source of income for us.

Education System Glossary

Since the Guatemalan government only funds education to the end of elementary school, it is not all that common, especially in the rural areas, for someone to graduate from middle school. Thus, these students are awarded an actual degree, called the Basico, which carries some weight when looking for a job, etc.

High school comes in a variety of flavors in Guatemala. All of course are private, and there are seemingly as many curriculums as there are schools. Some high schools focus on particular careers, such as teaching, accounting, surveying, etc. Usually, it takes 3-4 years to complete, and they are awarded with a certificate of competency at the end. In teaching, the certificate entitles one to teach at the elementary school level only. More academically-oriented high schools have a curriculum similar to US schools, which includes language arts, math, science, history, etc. These typically require 4-5 years to complete, and graduates are awarded the Diversificado degree, which is required if the student wishes to continue their education at the University level. This is the degree that most GSSG-supported high school students are pursuing.

The University system in Guatemala is like the high school system, in that there are many degrees, and many ways to get a degree. There is only one public university, the University of San Carlos, and about a dozen private universities. Like high school, students can decide early to specialize in a particular field, and after 2-3 years, graduate with a “tecnico” degree. In education, this degree awards them the title of “Profesor”, and qualifies them to teach all the way through high school. For those wishing to go further in Education or other fields, there is the “Licenciatura” degree, which is awarded after four years of study in one’s major plus an additional year researching and writing a thesis that addresses some national problem in Guatemala. So far, three GSSG students have been awarded their Licenciatura degree, with several more hoping to have theirs by next year.

Sponsor Armando for just $25/month