Written by Claire Ellis (W. 1992-95)
Thursday, 24 August 2006

For the past few years I have been working on an educational outreach project for the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University. But I have realised that life is too short to continually travel around the country convincing children that maths can be fun, so I am in the process of quitting my job, selling my car, giving away my furniture and booking my flights to Central America.

I am going to work for a grassroots community development organisation in Guatemala. The Progressive Integrated Development Association of San Agustín Acasaguastlán (ADIPSA) was set up in 1994 by a group of small producers in the El Progresso region of central Guatemala. ADIPSA aims to improve the living standards of the subsistence farmers in the communities around San Augustin. They have initiated a number of sustainable development schemes including post-primary education programmes, crop diversification schemes, women’s co-operatives, microcredit loans and an organic fairtrade coffee growing business.

As the only English-speakers in the community, my boyfriend and I hope to help ADIPSA make contact with UK and US NGOs, businesses and charities that are able to support the organisation’s vital on-going work.

I would love to hear from any OBs who are currently living in Guatemala, or who have contact with other development organisations in the area. A friendly accent and a reminisce about lunch hours down ‘The Brissy’ would definitely reduce any feelings of homesickness!

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