JBU Student Develops Enactus Project to Bring Affordable English Education to Hometown in Guatemala
Team to Pilot Program with 50 Students in June 2016
By Megan Perkins ’18
Friday, December 4, 2015
In many small, rural Guatemalan villages such as Campur, children grow up speaking their indigenous language and learning Spanish in elementary school. However, these students usually don’t have affordable access to English instruction which later makes it more difficult to compete for lucrative and impactful employment.
“I know English opened doors for me to follow my dreams” says sophomore Heydi Cucul, a business major and Walton scholar.
Cucul is a member of JBU’s chapter of worldwide student entrepreneurial organization, Enactus. The mission of JBU’s Enactus is “changing lives around the world through education and service that equips people, builds communities and inspires hearts.”
Through the implementation of her Enactus project titled Supérate, Cucul intends to stimulate personal and economic growth in her home community of Campur, Guatemala by providing English education for its youth.
The 12-member Supérate team wants to “establish a successful and sustainable English language pilot program in Campur, while encouraging family engagement and creating opportunities for young people.”
Cucul and her team plan to work with eight schools in the Campur area by renting classrooms, hiring English professors and selecting students through an interview process to include in the initial pilot program. The team aims to launch the pilot program in June of 2016, beginning with a group of 50 students between the ages of eight and 16. Supérate’s long-term objective is to build the first school in Campur offering the opportunity for English education.
Having grown up in Campur, Cucul remembers the struggle of many parents to afford sending their children to school at all, as well as the poor quality of education for those who could attend.
“The education back home helped me to be who I am today, but it is so different,” said Cucul. She added that many Guatemalan students never complete middle school, choosing instead to drop out and get married. Others are prohibited from attending due to their parents’ views that school is a waste of time or only for males.
One of Cucul’s goals through her creation of Supérate is to offer an inexpensive educational opportunity for Campur’s young generation, while convincing parents of the capability of their students and the worth of the program.
The team’s hope is that by providing affordable English education to Campur adolescents, they will not only cultivate personal development in the lives of the individuals, but also economic development in the Campur community. Cucul emphasizes the significance of Supérate’s name as meaning “overcoming, surmounting and personal development.”
Cucul added that Supérate intends to partner with local churches in Campur to impact the community spiritually as well as economically.
“We are going to help them learn another language but we are also going to help them in their Christian lives,” says Cucul. The team has already been in contact with several local churches who have expressed their excitement for the project.
Supérate’s mission is more than just to teach a language—it is to help pull a community out of poverty and in the process to exhibit God’s love, provision and faithfulness to its residents. Cucul said she wants the people of Campur to see that, despite that they live in an area where other people see ruins, God is there and he provides opportunities.
The team has already raised half of their $5,000 fundraising goal for this year.
More information is about the project is available on their website.
Supérate Team Members: (Back) Connor Luther, Payton Hubbard, Cooper Richardson, Hannah Averitt, Mario Escobar; (Front) Nelsy Paz, Naomy Olla, Heydi Cucul, Angela Ixtecoc, Cesia Melendez, Yauri Torres, Claudia Alvarado.