Financial education and technical training in Guatemala

Funding required: $47,100

This project will help: 15 youths

Completion date: July 2025

Country: Guatemala

Executive summary

In Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango, lush and vibrant regions of Guatemala, many families live in poverty. The region sees large social and economic gaps between residents, with the majority living in poverty. Recent reports show that 72.6 per cent of the population lives in poverty and earns less than US$2 per day.

Many families experiencing high levels of poverty in Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango have only limited access to basic services. Children and caregivers struggle to access health care and sanitation services and find safe, clean water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Children and youths often do not have access to adequate education. Many schools in these regions are underfunded and lack resources needed to provide children with quality education. For children living in rural communities, schools are often located far distances from their homes, making travel to and from school difficult and potentially dangerous. As young people begin to enter the workforce, they face highly limited job options. In addition, indigenous people groups from Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango often experience discrimination, further limiting their opportunities.

Compassion’s church partners in Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango provide children and youth with educational support and mentorship through Compassion centre programming and activities. Through the Compassion program, students can learn basic skills, develop healthy relationships and receive tutoring as they work to complete their studies. However, our frontline church partners see the need to do more to prepare young men and women for the workforce.

With your generous gift, 12 frontline church partners in Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, will provide 15 young men and women with barista training and financial education. During this technical training course, students will gain the experience and the skills needed to work in a coffee shop or start their own small businesses. Students will receive a certificate once they’ve completed their barista course and will set up and work in a coffee shop at a Compassion centre to earn valuable experience. They will also learn financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills that will help them make good business decisions and become economically self-sustaining.



Compassion works alongside 12 frontline church partners in the Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango regions of Guatemala, serving many children as well as young people age 12 to 17. Our church partners have noted that young people in the program face several difficulties as they get closer to entering the workforce. Many of these students want to start their own businesses but have never received entrepreneurship or technical training. They have also not had the opportunity to develop the practical or financial skills needed to successfully start, run and maintain a business.

Many students in Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango come from homes experiencing high levels of poverty and are often forced to drop out of school to help provide for their families. Our church partners serve many young men and women who are ambitious and eager to learn and grow but simply have not had the opportunity to gain the education and skills needed to compete in the labour market. Without these skills, they will end up finding low-paying jobs, thus continuing the cycle of poverty.

The need

Vocational and financial training can make all the difference for young people living in poverty. Education is a key factor for overcoming generational cycles of poverty, but it is often out of reach due to financial limitations and lack of opportunities. Youths in the Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango regions of southwest Guatemala have few prospects and little hope for the future. They lack education, technical skills and financial literacy to become economically self-sustaining. They also face discrimination in the work force. Without help, these young people will never reach their full potential.

Your gift will allow 15 young men and women to receive barista training from the Technical Institute of Training and Productivity (INTECAP), where they will learn entrepreneurial skills and gain technical knowledge in the field. Your generous support will also provide these students with crucial financial and entrepreneurship training, allowing them to make good business decisions, effectively manage a budget and their personal income, develop a savings plan and start a small business.

At the end of this intervention, each student will have the opportunity to attend a technical fair at the Foundation for the Integral Development of Socioeconomic Programs (FUNDAP) facility where they will be able to make and sell coffee products to others in their community. This intervention will also establish a coffee shop in partnership with a Compassion centre in Totonicapán and the Asociación Formación Integral (AFI), where students will have the opportunity to work upon graduation.

What your gift will do

Your gift will allow 15 students from 12 Compassion centres in the Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango regions of Guatemala to receive barista training and financial education, including:

  • FUNDAP entrepreneurship course
  • INTECAP 5-month barista training course
  • Technical course materials
  • Technical course materials
    • Barista tools: frothy steam jug, frothing spoon, milk thermometer, tamper, portafilter, scale, coffee grinder, barista cloths, espresso machine cleaner, knock box, measuring cups and spoons, spice rack, aprons, ice spoon, latte art needle
  • Entrepreneurship leader
  • Educational materials
  • Coffee machines for coffee shop
  • Transportation
  • Advertising
  • ID badges
  • Venues for training and fair
  • Graduation awards
  • Monitoring


  • Local contribution: US$2,197.45
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Guatemala will ensure this project stays within budget.
  • Monitoring and follow-up: A Compassion centre tutor will be selected to oversee the implementation of this intervention. This implementer will support the students during their technical training as well as for four months once the café has been established.

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.