Senior students at a secondary high school near Antigua, Guatemala, started their own business in 2019. This was a success: their products, all eco friendly, included soap made of volcanic ash, reusable menstrual pads, candles and table napkins - all targeting tourists but cut short in April 2020, just as they were starting to see a profit when COVID 19 hit Guatemala and the whole country shut down. Students were hoping to earn enough money by continuing their business while pursuing college and financially help their families. They would be the first in their families to finish high school.
The school year usually ends in October but because of COVID 19 the school year all over the country may be moved to December. One of the requirements traditionally of senior students graduating is to do a "practica", internship at a business but it is impossible because of COVID-19. The Department of Education knows this and has revised the regulation to have students do a virtual business that the local principal will control and report on. The local principal wants to work with our EClub to make this happen so they can graduate, since we were supportive of them starting their real business last year. Our EClub (3 or 4 members) will be online with the students and in contact with the Department of Education. This will be a brand new model for the country to complete requirements when either a pandemic or distance prevents completion of High school requirements.
The virtual model has these components: 1) adapt the business to target local Guatemalans so when the shelter mandate lifts they can sell to local people, 2) learn all aspects of a business (real or virtual) by assessing topics and examples related personnel, inventory, daily accounting practices, profit and loss and creating a virtual business
Students will do their virtual business by using WhatsUpp on their cell phones: sending and receiving texts, taking pictures of their work done on paper and sending it to their local teachers, project manager in Guatemala and our EClub members here. They can talk by phone to everyone in this group individually or in group chats.
But we need funds from September to December 2020 so that the students can complete the Guatemala Department of Education's requirements: creating a virtual "practica" business during the next few months in order to graduate:
1. Salary for local manager to help create and guide lessons for virtual business $1250
2. Salary for a teacher of English, since learning English is invaluable for working in a real or virtual business in Antigua or Guatemala City once tourists start coming again $1000
3. Internship salaries for the students to help keep them and their families in basic needs, ie food and ability to pay for minutes on their cell phones $1500
4. Funds to purchase materials for products to sell once Covid 19 rules are lifted $500
5. Scholarships for a couple of students who qualify and get accepted to college $750