Guatemala Education Facts That May Surprise You

by Hogar Heroes

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For many children in Guatemala, education isn’t a matter of course. Despite a free and compulsory education system for children from the 1st to 6th grade, Guatemala continues to struggle with educating its children. Low school attendance and poor conditions, particularly in Guatemala’s rural western region, continue to plague the school system. Here are some Guatemala education facts that may surprise you, along with some ways that you can help.

Guatemala Education Statistics

The current picture of education is Guatemala is an alarming one. About 2 million children in the country never attend any level of formal school. Even if a student is able to enroll, they only receive about 4 years of schooling on average, with 30 percent leaving school after the first year. Even further, only about 59 percent of all enrolled secondary (high school) students graduate, and only about 18 percent of the population ever makes it to any form of post-secondary education.

Most seriously, the generally low number of children receiving formal education has resulted in Guatemala’s shockingly low literacy rate for those over 15 years of age: only about 75 percent. In rural, isolated, and underserved areas, the rate of literacy is even lower, giving Guatemala the lowest overall literacy rate in Central America.

Aside from these statistics, children attending school in Guatemala are also often faced with dilapidated school facilities, disorganized curriculum standards, and barriers to accessing technology. In a country where half of the population lives in poverty, financing a child’s education, even up until secondary school, is an extreme financial burden for many families.

The Gender Gap

Due in part to the procedural ordeal and financial burden of the education system in Guatemala, many parents can only afford to send one of their children to school. Frequently, families chose to send their male child to school. Girls may be taught at home or tasked with caring for younger siblings. As a result, many girls in Guatemala are at great risk for leaving school early and, ultimately, illiteracy.

The most recent research suggests that only 30 percent of all Guatemalan girls from rural areas attend secondary school. Indeed, girls make up the vast majority of Guatemala’s population of “school-less” children.

You Can Help

If these Guatemala education facts move you, the good news is that you can help. Among other charitable organizations in the area, the Hogar Heroes campaign of Work, Play, Love is taking action to help solve the crisis of education in Guatemala. After the construction of a girl’s orphanage, the Maria Auxiliadora Hogar, and a thriving partnership with a neighboring boy’s orphanage, Hogar Heroes is beginning to develop strategies for tackling the issue of education in the country.

With projects like The Hope Academy Girl’s School and an open classroom door policy for local village children, Hogar Heroes strives to give all Guatemalan children the chance to live, play, and learn. These efforts help children develop the skills for a more enriching life.

Donate & Volunteer

Hogar Heroes needs your help. In addition to our volunteer trips, your financial support can help to pay for new construction projects, school materials, and other ongoing costs of educating and supporting the children of Guatemala. A donation of any amount can improve the life of a Guatemalan child.

Become a Hogar Hero.


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