Vamos Adelante provides education, health and nutrition services to families living at the base of Guatemala’s active Volcano Fuego (“Fire”), most of who work on a temporary basis harvesting sugar cane and coffee at large farms. Our project serves 18 villages in the Escuintla region, located between Guatemala City and the Pacific coast. Vamos Adelante is the only agency of its kind operating in this isolated region. The average family we serve has five children and is affected by chronic poverty, including parasite-related illness, malnutrition, alcoholism, and illiteracy.
Recognizing education as a key element for tackling these struggles, Nina Joergensen, the Founder and Director of Vamos Adelante partnered with Comite Nacional para la Alfabetizacion (CONALFA) to establish the first Vamos Adelante literary classes in the community of San Miguel Los Lotes (1994). Vamos Adelante quickly thereafter initiated the paperwork with the Ministry of Education to open a primary school in San Miguel Los Lotes. Since then, Vamos Adelante has continued to establish schools and has grown to also set up health facilities, libraries, and afternoon education programs in the communities we serve. We recruit and train local education and health care promotoras to work with families on improving their education, health, hygiene and nutrition.
Sustainability is always the project’s long-term ideal. Vamos Adelante has successfully launched and handed over nine schools to local communities and the Ministry of Education, which continue to run well today. The school in San Miguel Los Lotes was destroyed on June 3, 2018 by the eruption of the Fuego volcano. A replacement school will be built by the Guatemalan government in the new community of the survivors. Vamos Adelante also aims to motivate the people it serves to work together on their community’s priorities so that they may become self-sustaining.
Vamos Adelante’s work is funded entirely from private donations (both cash and in kind), most of which come from individuals or foundations in Europe and North America. Vamos Adelante prides itself on its minimal administration costs and personal contact with donors. This website and blog, created and maintained by volunteers, are the central source for staying in touch with us and keeping up with our latest happenings!