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El Hato Literacy Center

The El Hato Literacy Center (EHLC), located a short walk away from El Hato's public school, provides critical educational support to students and families.  Unfortunately, many parents in El Hato never finished school themselves and/or work long days.  As a result, they are not able to provide their children with the support they need to succeed in school, and their children fall behind or even drop out.  The EHLC provides a variety of free services to counter this problem.  These services are provided by our full-time teacher/coordinator along with a part-time teacher funded by Las Manos de Christine, one of our partner organizations.

Our services include:

After-school tutoring: El Hato's primary school lets out at 12:30 each day.  After a short lunch break, kids start arriving at the EHLC, where the teachers help them understand and finish their homework and reinforce the school lessons of the day.  Starting in 2024, we are putting extra emphasis on improving the children's reading ability.  Also, every afternoon, if they finish their work early, they can participate in recreational and educational activities, including playing educational games on our computers.

Before-school tutoring: The school day for El Hato's "básicos" (Guatemala's term for students in grades 7 to 9), starts in the afternoon after the primary school lets out.  The básicos are free to come to the EHLC in the morning to do research for their projects on our computers and internet connection and to get homework help as needed.  In 2023, we began providing computer instruction to the básicos, and, in cooperation with the local public school, we are expanding the program in 2024.

Community Library: We offer El Hato's children and adults the use of our community library, equipped with a nice selection of books, an internet connection and a computer lab.

Humane Education: We incorporate the humane education teaching approach into our activities.  Humane education is an "approach to teaching that draws connections between human rights, animal protection, and environmental sustainability with the goal of preparing people to be compassionate ...".  When students struggle with relationships, we encourage them to strive to understand others and engage in peaceful discourse. We utilize readings, videos, and games that reinforce the benefit of this compassionate approach to interacting with the environment, animals and other people.

Vacation Camp:  Our work doesn't stop when the school year ends each October.  That's when we start our annual Vacation Camp, in which children participate in fun, daily educational activities for the following six weeks.

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