61 million children of lower secondary school-age are not in school.

Oportunidad Básico (Lower Secondary School)

Right now only a small percentage of children in rural Cental America are able to continue their education past 6th grade, the end of primary school.

We are committed to removing the roadblocks to give every one of our students the opportunity to continue their education through lower secondary school (grade 7-9).

Our middle school workshops empower young adolescents by teaching them about digital literacy and life skills so that they can build a plan for their lives to move forward. 



Even when students do have a lower secondary school in their community or within walking distance, they often cannot afford a uniform, the school supplies and the homework assignments required at that level. We provide scholarships for these basic needs for every student who needs one.


Alternative Learning Models

Where there are no schools nearby, we make sure every student has access to at least one alternative model. In central locations we ensure a teacher for an innovative new program combining independent study with teaching and evaluation one day a week. In the most remote communities, we support access to radio-based, independent study programs.



We emphasize gender equity and education for girls throughout our primary school parent trainings, but we also provide full scholarships for girls who show a passion for education and learning to enroll in a traditional full-time lower secondary school. To remove all barriers, we cover transportation, school supplies and menstrual supplies. 

Marta López and mom smiling

Meet Wendy.

Wendy’s family could not afford the costs of transportation to get her to the nearest middle school. So after graduating from primary school, 6th grade in Guatemala, she went off by herself to Guatemala City to find work. She was 12 years old. She found work making tortillas from 5:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night for less than $4 a day. They let her sleep on a cot to sleep in the back of the kitchen. She was sending money home to help her family. When we offered her a scholarship to continue her education, Wendy and her parents jumped at the opportunity. Today, Wendy is in 10th grade and her dreams grow with every additional year of education. Her next dream is to go to the University. She dreams of becoming an example for the children in her community, and for all the children of Guatemala.

Wendy Maria Yacon Calel