Afterschool Program Assistant Afterschool Program Assistant Quetzaltenango, Guatemala Caras Alegres Non-profit | Caras Alegres
Playing with and supervising the children, organizing games or crafts, helping with set-up and clean-up.

Project Details

This program serves children of 6-14 years with activities such as handicrafts, dance, football and cooperative games, but also free play and a snack each day.

Caras Alegres is a non-profit organization serving children and families in Las Rosas, a neighborhood in the city of Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala. Caras Alegres is committed to strengthening the community of Las Rosas by offering afterschool programming and other resources promoting the well-being of at-risk children and their families.

For elementary aged children, we offer a free after school program that provides a safe and supportive space where kids can be kids and have fun and develop healthy relationships away from negative influences. This program serves children between 6 and 14 years, and usually we have  between 50 and 70 children every day. We do activities such as handicrafts, field sports, movies, dance and cooperative games. The aim of the activities is to stimulate creativity and we focus on emotional inteligency. The program runs from 2pm to 4.30pm, Monday till Thursday

Also, from the beginning of 2018 Caras Alegres opened up a Community Lunch Room where about 55 children between the ages of 5-14 come to eat a nutritious lunch 4 times a week. This project was developed to address the extensive problems of malnutrition among the children that participate in Caras Alegres’ other activities. A tipical lunch could be rice with chicken and vegetables accompanied by a fresh fruit drink. 

Other projects that Caras Alegres runs are backpack project, foodbox project and a scholarship project for secondary school students.

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organization
Foundation Year
11
Contact Person
Jenna Pohjonen
Spoken Languages
Spanish
English
Finnish

Social Impact

Las Rosas, located in Zona 5 of Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala, is an impoverished neighborhood where the majority of families live at or below the poverty line. Following a violent history of labor exploitation and human rights violations in Guatemala, many families migrated from rural communities to communities close to urban centers, like Las Rosas. Here, families still struggle with a lack of economic opportunities, which are exacerbated by father absenteeism and teenage pregnancy, two prevalent issues in the community.  This lack of economic opportunities also contributes to problems such as alcoholism, delinquency, and limited healthcare, among others. For example, although a number of clinics and medical institutions are located within walking distance, many residents in Las Rosas do not seek the medical attention they need because they cannot pay for medical expenses out of pocket and health insurance is uncommon.  Additionally, many students do not receive enough education necessary to pull themselves and their families out of poverty, because many drop out of school before they complete middle or high school in order to contribute to the family income.

Therefore, Caras Alegres strives each day to support and empower the community of Las Rosas. We partner with approximately 70 to 80 families, providing basic needs and educational opportunities to families that would otherwise not have them. Since the kids in Guatemala only go to school in the mornings, we want to keep them off the street and avoid they fall into the ´wrong´ environment. Mom (and sometimes dad) are working all day and nobody really worries about what the kids are doing. Therefore we are open 4 days a week, to give them the opportunity to be a kid and play like a kid should in a safe and supportive environment.

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals
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