I recently spent a month in rural Guatemala with a phenomenal ministry, Colegio Cristiano Saber y Gracia (Wisdom and Grace Christian School). Since then, I’ve been working hard to create a WND Magazine issue all about their work. But I didn’t want you to have to wait that long to hear about what God is doing there.

So over the next few weeks I will be posting stories and photos from my time in Guatemala right here on the blog. To kick it off, here’s a sneak peek of Saber y Gracia’s partner page. To hear more, stay tuned to our blog and keep your eyes peeled for the June issue of World Next Door Magazine, coming next month!

Meet Saber y Gracia

Started in 1986, Saber y Gracia is a beacon of hope in the town of Santo Tomás Milpas Altas. The school is led by Principal Rudi Pineda, and educates 264 students in grades K-12.

264 students attend Saber y Gracia

264 students attend Saber y Gracia

Santo Tomás, nestled in the hills between Guatemala City and Antigua, is a community struggling with poverty, unemployment, broken families, and a lack of development. Saber y Gracia works to break the cycle of poverty and unearth hope in the next generation.

Mission: To educate students while fully considering the needs and potential of their spirits, souls, bodies, and relationships, supported by the eternal truth of God’s Word. 

Sponsorship Program

Roni, one of the many students whose families have been supported by SyG's generous sponsorship program

Roni, one of the many students whose families have been supported by SyG’s generous sponsorship program

Because many families in Santo Tomás are unable to afford school fees for their children, lots of kids miss out on vital years of their education. As a result, the cycle of poverty tends to continue from one generation to the next.

That’s why Saber y Gracia has created a generous sponsorship program that works alongside parents to give their children the education they deserve. There are 68 students fully sponsored, with another 10 partially sponsored.

Currently, there are 32 financial sponsors making this program possible, but many more are needed. For $40 a month, you could be one of the sponsors partnering with Saber y Gracia to provide an education to students who desperately need it.

Interested? Contact Lauren Pupchik, one of SyG’s teachers, for more information: Lauren8482@hotmail.com

Marching Band

The Saber y Gracia "Fire Lions" practicing in the school's courtyard (Photo by Jonathan Schoonover)

The Saber y Gracia “Fire Lions” practicing in the school’s courtyard (Photo by Jonathan Schoonover)

One of the sad realities of poverty is that it often goes beyond simply a lack of material things. Self-esteem, discipline, and pride are often the first things to go when a child is raised in such an environment.

Because of this, Saber y Gracia has created a phenomenal marching band program, “The Fire Lions,” to give their students a reason to be proud. With 110 members (close to half of the student body!), the band has become something of a local legend. Every year they win all sorts of competitions and participate in parades throughout the region, including the big Independence Day parade in downtown Antigua.

The students take real pride in the “Fire Lions,” and the band has played a significant part in the growth of the school and ministry. As you might imagine, the self-esteem and discipline generated by such a structured program has helped many students excel in other areas of life and education as well!

Connect with Saber y Gracia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Colegio-Cristiano-Saber-y-Gracia/146223652074301

Instagram: http://instagram.com/wisdomandgrace1

Website (Spanish): http://www.saberygracia.edu.gt/

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About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.

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