Chok Education – Maya Charity
Chok Education is a UK registered charity (No. 1170786).
The object of the Maya charity, Chok Education, is promoting, sustaining and increasing education to the Maya people of Central America, as well as the promotion of their cultural identity, by providing grants to schools.
At present, the charity is focusing on Guatemala, in particular, Melody School, a primary school in Chimaltenango.
How to Donate
Alternatively, you can donate by credit card, bank transfer or cheque:
Your sponsorship, however small, will enable these children to not only receive a solid education, but also daily nutritious meals and access to health care that the families would not have otherwise.
Children needing sponsorship
Why do the Maya need our help?
The Silent Holocaust (“The Maya Genocide”)
The Maya, who make up half of the population in Guatemala, have been consistently discriminated against. The worst atrocities occurred during the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War.
The Historical Clarification Commission (CEH) set up under the Oslo Peace Accords 1994 documented human rights violations during the civil war. The CEH attributed 93% of abuses to the security forces and 3% to the rebels. The Maya people accounted for 83% of the victims.
During La Violencia (1980-1983) 50,000 Maya people were killed, resulting in 116,000 orphans and 200,000 Maya were forced into exile. Three high-level military and political officials are now on trial for their alleged role in genocide and crimes against humanity.
The Maya Today
The population living below the national poverty line in Guatemala is 56.2%, of this 90% is Maya (2005 PNUD report on human development index for Guatemala).
“The Maya have a long legacy of malnutrition, infectious disease and heavy workloads. These factors stunt their growth and impair their health in many ways.”
The Maya population generally resides in poverty-stricken areas and is limited to healthcare and education that is available to other Guatemalans:
- The Maya have less than half the level of schooling of non-Maya adults – 2.5 years versus 5.7 years.
- Among 10-19-year-olds, the Maya literacy rate for Maya females is only 39% versus 77 percent of non-Maya females
- Maya children have only at most have 3 years of schooling, only 18% attend high school and only 0.5 percent attend university
- 6 in 10 suffer from chronic malnutrition and their life expectancy is 15 years lower than other Guatemalans.
Very few families have any form of economic stability to be able to pay towards education for their children or themselves.
Homes of the children who are pupils at Melody School
Supporting Maya children
In addition, all education is provided in the Spanish language, Maya people cannot wear their traditional clothes in school, or speak their language. Spanish culture and history prevail.
If a Maya person wants to improve his or her life through education, this person has to give up the Maya language, the Maya dress and the Maya way of life.
The assimilation done by the education system is quite evident in the loss of Mayan languages. For example, there are only 100 speakers amongst the Maya Itza’ of the northern part of the country, all of them in their 80’s or 90’s.
When they die, their language and most of their culture will die with them as their children and grandchildren are not taught their language in school – only Spanish is taught.
In summary, the Maya people are a disadvantaged group and so Chok Education wants to help address this through education and promoting the Maya culture in schools.
Melody School, Guatemala
At present, the charity is supporting Melody School in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, which has been set up to provide equality schooling to underprivileged Maya children. It is run purely by donations.
Individuals or schools can sponsor a child’s education at Melody school through their project Chaqlaxel (meaning “little brother/sister” in their Mayan language – Kaqchikel).
Through your sponsorship these students not only are able to receive a solid education, but also daily nutritious meals and access to health care that the families would not have otherwise.
Donations, however small, are much appreciated. You can donate through PayPal above, or by cheque or bank transfer.
Igor Xoyon, the man behind Melody School
“Melody´s goal is to expand the project each year to improve the lives of more children and families. It is our hope that Melody School will eventually be able to cater to students from childhood through to adulthood. Thus creating future leaders in this needy community.”
Igor Xoyón, Principal
Feel free to print out the below to help raise money for the school.
Chok Education raised funds to support the children and their families during Covid-19.
Donations were raised to support two children’s education for a year and included funds from a chocolate bake-off at Ixworth Primary School, Suffolk.
Mark Woolley (a trustee of the charity) ran a half-marathon in Chester raising £200 for Melody School.
Diane Davies, Chair, spoke at the Guatemalan Families Association’s Annual Event and all proceeds from this talk and workshops were donated to Chok Education.
Diane Davies (Chair) ran the New Forest Half-Marathon and raised £1341 for Melody School.
This enabled the funding of not only 1 child, Anthony Raxon, for a year of education, meals, clothes and healthcare, but also 2 projectors for the school.