Deaf Education Team returns to Guatemala

Trip dates: March 16-30, 2024

We will be partnering primarily with Escuela Educación Especial in San Cristobel Verapez; Escuela De
Educación Especial Y Centro De Rehabilitación in Coban as well as Gerty Barrios, Special
Coordinator of Services for children with special needs in the Alta Verapez region. The schools are
located in the mountains of Guatemala and are a full day drive from Guatemala City. This will be our
seventh trip working with these schools and the partnership has continued online between trips.
The focus of the 2024 trip will be to partner with the teachers to develop curriculum for the Deaf
students aged 4 to 21. With the younger students, we will be focusing on academic skill
development using a visual language format. We want to continue to develop basic computer skills
and coding with the older students in Coban. Continued work developing the literacy program (books
and technology) for the students in both schools will occur.
Our plan is for some of the team to work directly with the teachers and students in the classrooms
each morning and then spend the afternoons with the teachers alone developing educational
materials, teaching ideas/plans in addition to discussing how to use the resources in their
library/literacy program. Other team members will travel out to the remote villages to assess
children in those locations. We will also be providing 4 formal teacher workshops during the
mornings of the second week for the teachers in the region and for the parents of the Deaf students.
The trip will last 2 weeks, and we will be staying at a small hotel in the centre of the village of San
Cristobel Verapez. Our American partners will assist us with travel to/from Guatemala City.  We
will travel the 30 minutes between the 2 schools using local transportation. Meals will be a mixture
of meals at the American mission house and meals at known restaurants in both towns.
An evening at Zona Extrema (run by our American partners) which is an after school social club for
girls and boys in San Cristobel Verapez will occur.  We are also hoping to offer a third annual
soccer/football game between the Deaf students and Zona children. A recreational activity on the
weekend between our two working weeks will be arranged for the team members in addition to a trip
to Antigua for tourist shopping prior to our departure.
For more information, contact Karen MacKenzie-Stepner, Team Leader