How One Organization is Using Technology to Empower Children in Guatemala

By Isabella Rolz

In 2002, FUNSEPA was founded, which is an NGO which contributes to the development of Guatemalan education through technology.

In Guatemala, the average length of schooling is 4.1 years, which places the country last in the Education Index, compared to all other Latin American nations. There are 3.2 million Guatemalan children between the age of 6 and 15 in 18,000 public primary schools, and 93% have no access to technology. The use of technology, specifically computers, can reshape power and knowledge in significant ways.

As an underdeveloped country, Guatemala does not have the appropriate financial resources necessary to improve education, specifically literacy. Thus, FUSENPA, is a firm believer of the power of technology as a tool for development. Through the donation of laptops and educational computer programs, the organization aims to reduce the illiteracy rate, specifically in rural areas, where this problem is even more common.

Today, education remains inaccessible for millions of children around the world. According to Humanium: Together for Children´s Rights, many children who still do not have access to education face persistent inequality and marginalization. These children find themselves on the edge of the education system and do not benefit from learning that is vital to their intellectual and social development.

In “Some Problems of Education in Underdeveloped Countries,” Arasteh Reza, suggests that the term underdeveloped has recently come to refer to those countries which are technologically not as well-equipped as certain others. It describes nations which are not economically independent. These nations are also characterized by a lack of functioning educational system, a high percentage of illiteracy and a large low-income group. Guatemala belongs to this group.

The presence of technology is important because new technologies offer students new potentials of engagement, producing growth in learning opportunities.

Because much of the world´s poor do not participate in the formal market economy, due to a lack of educational foundation, the economic scope in third world countries contributes to social stagnation too.

FUNSEPA is adequately powerful to change the educational system of Guatemala.

The biggest treasure Guatemala has can be found in the intellectual capacity of its people…this treasure can only be extracted through education. – Sergio Paiz, founder of FUNSEPA.