Education for Indigenous Mayan Working Children
This projects helps to enroll and support the continuing school attendance of Mayan working children in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. We work with around 300 of these children each year (and attend to more children in our other programs). Our city attracts thousands of tourists every year; any visitor will immediately notice the large number of children working in the plazas and tourists streets of the city. Hundreds more work in markets or in homes. While some of these children attend school (their earnings often help to fund school costs), many others do not. Even those who do attend school are at risk of dropping out early; this is particularly the case for girls.
Melel Xojobal has 16 years experience working with indigenous children to promote their rights. This particular project includes helping indigenous families to obtain the documents necessary for school registration, and to enroll their children in school. The project also includes daily educational activities which complement the children's schooling. These are designed to broaden their education, reinforce their confidence in learning, and also to explain what their rights are and how they are entitled to be treated at school, at home, and by society. In cases of violence or other abuse we work with children and families to ensure the issue is addressed by the authorities, and to obtain free specialist psychological, medical or legal support for children or families if they need it.
The focus on children's rights is central to our work, and all-important in the context of Chiapas, where the rights of the indigenous population continue to be systematically violated. Sadly, lack of access to education and health care, and marginalization and discrimination against Chiapas' indigenous peoples remains common. Our organization seeks to address these issues, teaching children and young people about their rights and providing them with the knowledge and tools so that they themselves can defend them.
$5 pays the costs of project activities for a child for two weeks.
Due to the constraints of our other work, for visits by individuals this explanation will be brief, though we can also email you a presentation (English or Spanish) which provides more details. For groups of 7 or more we can arrange a longer explanation (email Fionn at [email protected]). In either case a couple of days notice is advisable. Our facilities are located about 8 minutes walk from the central plaza.
What To Bring
We are always happy to accept cash donations, but there is no obligation to do so at all. From experience it is difficult to make effective use of donations in kind so please do not bring anything else.
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