The Alternative Learning Center (2002-present)
In 2002, UPAVIM established the Alternative Learning Center to offer children from La Esperanza and neighboring communities a school where they study in a safe and stimulating atmosphere. The school works to inspire the children to have a desire for learning to encourage them to continue in their education. They are also exposed to the values and personal skills needed to become an informed and active member of their community and their country.
Currently the Alternative Learning Center has classes from Kindergarten to 6th grade, attends to over 150 children and employs 8 teachers and a Director. A monthly fee of 175 quetzales (US$23) covers tuition costs, though uniform, books, materials, and registration costs are separate. The school is funded by fees but mostly from the sale of our handmade crafts. Breakfast is provided to all students and they are encouraged to practice healthy habits with hygienic and health routines as part of the daily schedule- from teeth brushing to exercise classes and nutrition guidelines. In collaboration with the UPAVIM public library and librarian, each grade participates in a literature program once a week where reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills are reinforced.
UPAVIM CAA is currently in the process of integrating a Montessori style teaching approach, training teachers and implementing the philosophy in the classrooms grade by grade. In 2016 the kindergarten class began the year with Montessori practice, and the upcoming 2017 school year will include first grade in this program.