COVID has changed the world in Guatemala enormously! The lock down has kept Guatemalans from easily traveling from one part of the country to another by bus or car; there are curfews with heavy fines, from a month’s salary on up. There has been no hiring, except for English speaking Call Centers. Schools are closed and have cobbled together reams of homework papers, including how to do computer software programs from pictures on papers. So far, there is no talk of reopening schools.
If the COVID virus can be under control by the end of 2022 for the Guatemalans (later than in wealthier countries), it will be 2023 before signs of economic restarting will be felt. I believe jobs will be scarce and job applicants numerous.
It is more important than ever to make some changes. For many years to come good grades alone in High School will not be enough to get a job. English speaking jobs require a High School diploma, but English must be at a very high level. To that end, we will be offering an English only component to the program for the following reasons:
- There are companies hiring English speakers.
- The school system is in total chaos.
- Parents may not allow their girls out of their homes until COVID is controlled.
- Our test case of offering this program to a High School graduate has demonstrated the benefits: seriousness about learning English, demanding only English be spoken when others in the house speak with her and the added benefit of encouraging others in the house to increase their effort in English.