Invited to present at ESOSCO Innovation Fair

The United Nations invited Ak’ Tenamit to present its education program at the 2011 Innovation Fair. The UN Economic and Social Council organizes this event, which will be held in Geneva on July 4-8.

Ak’ Tenamit is 1 of only 30 education programs worldwide invited to present our best practices in education, and we will have the opportunity to speak directly with UN Ministers of Education and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

This opportunity allows us to inspire others around the world facing similar challenges to try a path less traveled but one that has changed countless lives in Rio Dulce.

Finalist for “World Innovation Summit for Education” Awards

Ak’ Tenamit was a finalist for the 2010 global World Innovation Summit for Education Awards (WISE) due to our innovative rural education program. Nearly 500 applicants from 79 countries applied for the 2010 WISE Award and only 4 were from Central America. Ak’ Tenamit was the only Central American finalist and other finalists include the Peruvian Ministry of Education, IIEP-UNESCO, Save the Children, and Carnegie Mellon University. We are honored that our approach to rural education was recognized on such a prestigious, international level.

WISE and their sponsoring organization, Qatar Foundation, are at the forefront of innovative educational practices, and the WISE Awards are an international competition organized to recognize such projects. The Qatar Foundation also organizes an international summit each year that brings together some of the world’s leaders in this field, and Ak’ Tenamit, as a WISE Award finalist, had the privilege to participate in the 2010 summit. Further, Ak’ Tenamit was invited to return for the 2011 Summit in Doha, Qatar. Visit to read about more about Ak’ Tenamit’s project and the WISE program.

Bugamama Restaurant is Green Deal Certified

Ak’ Tenamit’s Bugamama Restaurant received the Rainforest Alliance’s Green Deal Certification for helping preserve indigenous cuisine and maintaining environmentally sustainable operations. Bugamama is owned by Ak’ Tenamit and run entirely by Ak’ Tenamit’s students as part of the school’s work-study program.

A Green Deal certification is given to hotels, restaurants, or travel agencies and tells customers that the business has taken steps to protect the environment, conserve energy, and comply with health and sanitation standards. The Green Deal standards are monitored by the Rainforest Alliance and conferred through regular on-site inspections completed by Guatemala’s Asociación Alianza Verde.

National and International Support for Education Model

Ak’ Tenamit’s educational approach has earned the support of the following organizations:

International Support

  • S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation
  • 2010 WISE Global Education Award finalist
  • Andoran government
  • USAID’s Conservation of Central American Watersheds Program
  • Center of International Cooperation for Agricultural Pre-investment (CIPREDA)
  • Menorca Cooperation Fund
  • German Society for International Cooperation (GTZ)
  • IBIS Denmark
  • JADE Project (“Environmental Justice, Community Empowerment, and Social Equality for the Conservation of the Sarstún- Motagua Region” Project)
  • Rotary International / The Rotary Foundation
  • Trocaire Irish Catholic Relief Agency
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Regional Support

  • Central American Association for Health, Economy, and Environment (ACEPESA)
  • Tropical Agronomy Research and Teaching Center (CATIE)
  • Indigenous Fund

Guatemalan Support

  • National Nature Conservation Fund (FONACON)
  • Guatemalan Tourism Institute (INGUAT)
  • Guatemalan Ministry of Education (MINEDUC)
  • Comprehensive Health Care System (SIAS)