Dcn. Pat & Liz Kearns
The Amigos Del Profe Beto (Friends of Professor Beto) is a program developed from the founder and director of the small mountain school located in Godinez. 15 years ago Professor Beto was asked by the community to establish a secondary school since the community did not have one. At the time education stopped at the age of 11 years. With nothing more than a promise to help by the poor local farmers, Professor Beto did indeed start the school which now educates 115 students. This program (Amigos Del Profe Beto) is a dream of Professor Beto's to now take the school to another level and begin to change the lives of the children.
The problem – Godinez is a small isolated town saturated with poverty. The climate is very dry and the earth is problematic for growing essential foods. Many of the fathers have left for the United States, France, and Switzerland to find employment with the idea of sending money back home. The reality is that many of those fathers have abandoned their Guatemalan families and have left over 70% of the children fatherless. You can imagine the impact on the children not having a father, being abandoned, and without monetary contribution from the father. Subsequently many of the children have turned to using drugs and alcohol, joining gangs, and partaking in prostitution to cope and deal with their harsh situations.
The school system – The school in Godinez is directed by Professor Beto, who also teaches, and it has four additional teachers. The government provides enough funds to employ the five teachers with very low salaries and directs the curriculum to only include the bare basics. There is no possibility for instruction in music, voice, art, physical education, or language (English).
Knowing the community intimately, Professor Beto has discerned that the students lack distraction in their lives, distraction that can come from the Arts and physical education. The Guatemalan people are innately talented and creative but without fostering such skills in their lives they are lacking the joy, inspiration, creativity, and accomplishment that can come from enjoying instruction and participation in such activities. Professor Beto deeply feels that by offering classes and instruction in the Arts, physical education, and English, it will not only offer the much needed distraction, but will motivate them toward personal accomplishments and not toward mal and destructive behaviors. In addition, by learning English, which the students do desire to learn if given the opportunity, allows a world of opportunity to open up for them.
After much research and investigation Professor Beto has drafted a comprehensive program (see "The Project's Details") that will change the lives of the students. The program will employ four teachers: Music and Singing, Vocational Training, English, and Physical Education. The cost to implement the comprehensive program will be approximately $890 a month ($10,600 a year). This is a cost that the government will not contribute toward since it is considered in addition to basic education here in Guatemala. Knowing that this is quite a large sum of money, Professor Beto was hoping to have numerous sponsors contributing at $10 a month or more.
This is not just a charity program focusing on assisting with the temporary needs of a community, but rather an investment in changing the lives of many and providing hope and inspiration to those in most need. This program will impact future generations and has the potential to directly alter the culture of a hurting community profoundly.
Thank you for taking the time to read and reflect on the program “Amigos del Profe Beto / Friends of Profe Beto.”
Why The Project?
School Founder and Director
Prof. Beto Velasquez