Our program is based in the small Mayan community of Santiago Zamora. Santiago is home to around 150 families, many of whom are related in one way or another. The majority of the women still wear their traditional Mayan dress and girls learn how to weave the traditional weavings starting at 5 years old.
Most of the men work labor-based jobs in masonry, carpentry and agriculture. The work days are long and hard, but because many people don't have education past the 3rd grade, the job opportunities for them are very slim.
Santiago is home to one elementary school in the center of the park area. However, there is neither a middle school nor high school in town, so the students need to commute each day by riding the bus or walking to neighboring communities to continue their education past 6th grade.