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NGO in Guatemala breaking the Cycle of Poverty through Education


About us | NGO in Guatemala

Schoolgirl classroom Guatemala Education for the Children


We're an NGO working to break the cycle of poverty in Jocotenango, Guatemala, through education and empowerment.


Children and young people from impoverished backgrounds are provided with quality education and empowered to become motivated, confident and employable. Moving on to further education and rewarding employment will improve their quality of life and help them break free from the cycle of poverty that has blighted generations in this area.  They will become leaders of change in their communities and inspire future generations.

EFTC is an international NGO that works in partnership with disadvantaged families, children and young adults in Guatemala, Central America. 

Our School of Hope is located in Jocotenango, Guatemala: an urban area where extreme poverty, gang crime, domestic violence and alcoholism are everyday realities. Food, healthcare, counselling and career guidance at the school remove obstacles to education and enable our students to realise their potential.

Our School of Hope was the very first non-profit school in Guatemala to have a fully bilingual program (Spanish/English). Our students have the best possible start in life and a real chance to compete with graduates from more privileged backgrounds.

Education for the Children Foundation is a registered charity in the UK and Guatemala and is also a 501 (c)(3) charity in the US. Established in 2003, the NGO has grown steadily from helping a handful of children to educating 679 children and young adults and empowering the local community.

For every £1 donated, 92p goes straight to the project and is spent where it is needed most.

Children classroom Guatemala Education for the Children

Who are we?

The Foundation / NGO

Sophie McKee NGO Director Sophie McKee - Founder and Project Director (Guatemala office)
Sophie first came to Guatemala as a gap year volunteer in 2003 and instantly fell in love with the culture, people and natural beauty of the country. Her experience as a volunteer enabled her to see just how much of an impact education has in changing lives and communities. In 2005, she was lucky enough to work alongside an amazing team of local professionals to open the doors to the School of Hope. Read more about Sophie's story.
Dave McKee NGO Founder David McKee - Founder and Executive Director (UK office)
David is one of the original founders and has been the Chief Executive of the NGO since 2003. He is proud to lead a talented and hardworking team of staff and volunteers in both the UK and Guatemala.
Boo Sommers NGO Event Coordinator Boo Somers -  UK Foundation Manager (UK office)
Boo has been involved with the NGO for eight years, initially working as a volunteer. For the last three years she has coordinated our sponsorship program in the UK and organised our big events, such as the ball and annual golf days.
Sara Miller NGO Volunteer Coordinator

Sara Miller - Visitor and Volunteer Coordinator (Guatemala office)
Sara is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Guatemala. She spent two years facilitating workshops in Junior High Schools, and community outreach events in a rural Guatemalan community and is excited to continue her work in Guatemala with such an incredible project. She has a deep passion for education, youth empowerment, and both understands and appreciates the value and legacy of the volunteer experience.


Laura Santacristina - Communications Coordinator (Guatemala office)
Laura is spanish and before arriving in Guatemala she worked as a journalist in radio stations and newspapers. She joined the EFTC team in September 2017, after being in charge of communications at the Spanish Cooperation mission in Guatemala for two years.


Stephanie Esprester - Sponsorship Coordinator (Guatemala office)
Steph has worked and volunteered with children in her home country of Australia, as well as in Nepal, Ecuador and Guatemala at the School of Hope in 2017. Before EFTC, she worked as a Volunteer Coordinator for an NGO in rural Peru. She loves hanging out with children and is very excited for the many market trips, letter writing and sponsor visits to come in 2018. 


The School of Hope

Aracely Chajon NGO Social Services Director
Aracely Chajón - Head of Social Services
Aracely started working at the School of Hope in 2007 and since then she's dedicated her time, knowledge and love to it. She started out as the school's psychologist and is now the head of her department. She loves what she does and her main goal is to be able to provide all the services necessary to help students stay in the educational system and achieve their goals.
Patricia Castillo NGO Campaigns Director

Patricia Castillo - Head of Campaigns
Patricia has been with the Foundation since 2005 and what she likes most about her job is the direct contact with families, which helps her understand the way they live and how to help those most in need. She loves going to the families' homes and being received with enthusiasm.

Sara Dolinger Head of Education Sara Dolinger - Head of Education
Sara was working on youth empowerment, financial literacy and materials creation for projects in over 15 countries before coming to EFTC. Her education experience started at a bilingual school in Honduras where she taught and was English Department Coordinator. Sara is excited to be back in a school setting so that she can see the direct effect that education has on the life of the students in our school.
Jorge Castillo NGO School Principal Jorge Castillo - Head of Secondary School
Jorge started working with the Foundation from its very beginning in 2005. He started as the Primary School Principal and has witnessed the evolution of EFTC first-hand. Seeing the change in the lives of so many children is what inspires him to continue working hard to provide resources to the teachers and give students the best learning experience they can have.
Brenda Cay NGO School Primary Director

Brenda Cay - Head of Primary School
Brenda started working for the Foundation in 2013 as a 2nd Grade teacher. Now, she spends her time working with teachers to give them new tools, strategies and methods to improve their work. She loves her work as the students are her biggest inspiration and everyday brings new opportunities for growth in her professional life.



Click on the photos to find out what the media is saying about us!

Safehouse School of Hope Guatemala

The view from here: "My school has a safe house to protect students in fear for their lives"
"Here in Jocotenango, gangs are posing an increasing danger for our young people. Although being close to the tourist hotspot Antigua means police are slightly more effective here than elsewhere, our catchment area is still a violent place with frequent muggings and volatile groups of men."

Children School of Hope NGO Guatemala
The view from here: "We are working to empower girls in the midst of a machismo culture"
"Here in Guatemala we have one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world. Some 44 per cent of women have a child before they are 20, with many of these pregnancies unplanned or, worse still, the result of sexual abuse."
Rushcliffe Fundraiser for NGO Guatemala

Rushcliffe pupils raise £2,600 for impoverished children in Guatemala
Pupils at a Rushcliffe School are some of the first in the country to study the geography, economics and culture of Guatemala. To end the pilot course, the students held a huge festival including singing, cooking, games and dancing – to raise money for poverty-stricken children.

School Principal NGO Guatemala education

The view from here: The battle to sustain school attendance in Guatemala
"In Guatemala, there is no formal system for identifying children and allocating a school to them. There are no social workers scouring the countryside for children who have slipped out of the view of the authorities. It’s up to teachers like us to drive to these neighbourhoods and look for children out of school."

Press: UK family sponsor Guatemalan student Chelmsford family help sponsor young woman in Guatemala throughout her education

A poverty-stricken young woman in Guatemala can proudly call herself a graduate, thanks to a kind-hearted Chelmsford family. 

Press article NGO Guatemala West Bridgford and Nottingham pupils get a lesson in life from visiting Guatemalan teacher

Sixth formers and GCSE language pupils at Rushcliffe School and Nottingham Girls’ High School have been hearing first hand about the difficult lives of students their age in Guatemala.
Lead-Up International student

Life-transforming work with Guatemala’s most vulnerable youth

Lead-Up International is a ground-breaking approach to reducing violence by helping vulnerable youth discover calm and peaceful leadership through workshops with horses.

Press article NGO Guatemala

Ruddington Woman Returns from 4th Guatemalan Aid Trip

Ruddington management consultant Michelle Aitken is a woman with a mission. In the last two months she’s travelled more than 11,000 miles, some of them on a bike, to help impoverished children in Guatemala.


A day in the life of... teacher Kaysey Gilbreath

When pupils stopped turning up for school because their only shoes were ruined by the six-month rainy season, this Guatemala-based teacher stepped up to help out.

Ben Haines volunteer children IT NGO

IT Volunteer puts his skills to good use

A computer scientist from the UK has chosen to volunteer his time to help children in Guatemala learn invaluable IT skills. 


Partners & Supporters

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By making a contribution, small or large, you can improve a child's life.


Donate your skills and help the Foundation in the UK, USA or at the school in Guatemala.


For a small regular contribution you can reach out to a child in need.

Contact us

Whether you'd like to hear about upcoming events, volunteer with us, help raise funds for the children in Guatemala or just talk about EFTC's work- we’d love to hear from you!

Whether you’d like to hear about upcoming challenges, volunteer or visit the school in Guatemala or just have a chat about EFTC’s work- we’d love to hear from you!

Whether you’d like to hear about upcoming events, volunteer with us, help raise funds for the children in Guatemala or just have a chat about EFTC’s work- we’d love to hear from you!

  • Education for the Children Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charity in the USA
    Tax ID# 26-0648715

    1630 North Main St. #126
    Walnut Creek, CA 94596
  • +1-925-577-5225

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