Regional - Latin America

Our work in Central and South America

From pickles in Peru to coffee beans in Guatemala, more and more schools in this region are finding our education model helps give more young people access to education and a solution to youth unemployment. 

Jams and Pickles - The Concertada Solaris School, Peru

For our School Enterprise Challenge, the ‘Qallanrikuy Team’ students at the Escuela Concertada Solaris wrote an impressive and well researched business plan for their business growing traditional Peruvian rocoto, a type of spicy pepper, and turning it to jams and pickles. The School Enterprise Challenge judges were so impressed by students at this school they decided to award them prizes in both stages one and two of the competition. 
The students launched their business in April 2012 and planted 1000 rococo pepper plants around the school.  They ensured their business was environmentally friendly by using recycled bottles and jars to package their jam and pickles and using only organic fertilizers. Through planning and starting a business the students have learnt valuable life skills and helped the community by providing healthy and tasty products. The business generated an impressive $851 of income in 2012, 70% of which has been reinvested in the business.

Enterprising Schools Network, Central America 

Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala are the 3 poorest countries in Latin America outside of Haiti and Honduras and Guatemala have some of the highest rates of income inequality in the world. A chronic skills shortage amongst young people, and the resulting struggle to find employment, leads to a range of social problems including youth violence, drug trafficking and migration to the US.

In spite of having made significant steps forward in improving access to primary education, the number of children who complete primary school is still shockingly low. In Guatemala for example, for every 10 children that enter primary school only 4 will graduate and only 1 will complete lower secondary school. In Nicaragua , less than 30% of students complete secondary school and in rural areas this figure falls to a staggering 10%. As a result, these young people will typically struggle to secure well-paid jobs and perpetuate the cycle of poverty – 40% of young Nicaraguans are unemployed or work in the informal sector and 50% live in poverty. 

Seven schools in Central America who are already setting up and running school businesses are sharing lessons learnt and resources with each other through the Teach A Man To Fish Enterprising Schools Network Central America. The network, set up in March 2014, is also reaching out to a large number of new primary, secondary and technical schools who want to set-up new businesses. 
By rolling out the School Enterprise Challenge, events, school exchanges, a databank for educational and business administration resources, as well as our exciting Entrepreneurship Curriculum, Teach A Man To Fish is able to help schools tackle the issues of youth unemployment by giving students an education that includes learning business and entrepreneurial skills. 
Read about the network's activities (only in Spanish), and for more information on the Enterprising Schools Network and opportunities to support us in Central America, contact our Network Coordinator Christine:  christine@teachamantofish.org.uk 

Read about the San Francisco school in Paraguay which pioneered the approach of using school businesses for educational and financial benefits.


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