Ak’ Tenamit’s internship program is a signature feature of its educational approach. High school students split their time between traditional and practical classroom, where they put the theories learned in classes to work. Students study degrees in Rural Community Development or Sustainable Tourism and acquire 3,000 hours of experience in their field by rotating through positions in restaurants, administrative offices, as tour guides, in non-governmental organizations. Through this system, students develop skills that enable them to meet the needs of their communities upon graduation.
Ak’ Tenamit has opened four restaurants and three fair-trade handicraft shops that serve as internship sites. Not only do students gain valuable experience working at these sites, they help pay for their education through the income these sites generate.
Internship Program Prompts Personal Growth
- Students develop a strong sense of ownership to their communities – they are motivated to lead workshops in their communities to share what they are learning with them and design projects in order to improve living conditions.
- Students develop a strong sense of ownership to their school – they help to run the school and return early from vacations to work on construction projects.
- Students develop personal responsibility, good citizenship and the importance of working through consensus.
- Students develop a capacity for critical analysis and problem solving while learning entrepreneurial skills.
- It promotes gender equality in a country where women suffer widespread discrimination.