Educational Institutions

AMIGOS DE SANTA CRUZ FOUNDATION

aka Amigos de Santa Cruz

Seattle, WA

Mission

The mission of Amigos de Santa Cruz is to help improve the lives of the people of Santa Cruz through support for education and economic development. We envision Santa Cruz communities where all families have access to good health and sustainable sources of income; where schools provide quality education to all children; and where women, men and youth have an active voice in decisions that impact their communities.

Ruling Year

2001

Executive Director

Jessie Cohn

Main Address

2226 Eastlake Ave. E., #319

Seattle, WA 98102 USA

Keywords

Education, Economic Empowerment, Small Business Development, Scholarships, Youth Empowerment, Generational Change, Indigenous Mayan, Lake Atitlan, Jaibalito, Tzununa, Santa Cruz la Laguna, Pajomel, Chuitzanchaj, Tzanjomel

EIN

91-2155843

 Number

1580066279

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Santa Cruz La Laguna is a rural, indigenous municipality in the Western Highlands on the shores of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. Perched on steep mountain slopes, many of the Santa Cruz communities can only be accessed by boat or rudimentary roads, largely cutting off access to the education and economic opportunities available in larger population centers. Despite a recent growth in tourism, the Santa Cruz community continues to suffer from high unemployment, low wages and wide gender disparities. Access to education has historically been very limited, with most completing only a year or two of primary school in facilities that lack supplies and qualified teachers. Santa Cruz is now seeing a generation become educated for the first time, yet many obstacles remain, particularly for young girls.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Women's Empowerment & Small Business Program

Youth Empowerment Programs

Vocational Training Programs

Support for Formal Education

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Amigos aims to improve the lives of the indigenous people of Santa Cruz and surrounding villages through support for education and sustainable economic empowerment. We envision Santa Cruz communities where all families have access to good health and sustainable sources of income; schools provide quality education to all children; and women, men, and youth have active voices in decisions that impact their communities. Our programs seek to alleviate poverty through empowerment, encouraging community members to take responsibility for improving their own communities. In everything we do, we seek to advance key values of gender equality, support for a healthy environment, and the critical role of youth leadership in social change.

For 20 years now, our programs have grown in response to changing local needs, led by Santa Cruz community leaders themselves. We focus only on the seven rural communities that make up the Municipality of Santa Cruz, rather than spreading our resources to further reach, in order to understand and respond to the specific challenges facing the community. We invest in long-term programs that promote powerful, generational change. And we work in empowerment, not handouts, building the skills and confidence that people need to improve their own livelihoods and community over the long term.

Amigos has a long history of trust in the Santa Cruz communities. The staff managing our programs were themselves among the first participants in Amigos’ programs, leading the generational change currently underway. Of our 27 total staff, 25 are indigenous Guatemalans, and almost all from the Santa Cruz communities themselves. Decisions on programming and priorities are always take in consultation with local community leaders, and with deep knowledge of local customs and needs. Further, we have strong relationships with the local government and institutions such as public schools, health centers, and community groups.

We are seeking long-term, sustainable impact, led by leadership from the local community. As more and more of our local staff, the first generation to become educated from this community, assume positions of leadership and decision-making in the organization and in their community, that is success. As the economy diversifies and more small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive, and as more youth both complete their education and receive a quality, enriching education, that is success.

Thanks to Amigos’ 20 years of working in the Santa Cruz communities, we are seeing the first generation Santa Cruz youth to receive an education. Back in 1998, only four students stayed in school until the 6th grade and most barely learned to read, write or speak Spanish. School enrollment has now more than tripled, and Amigos has supported more than 150 higher education scholarships, with young women comprising over 50% of students! Santa Cruz is also seeing its first class of working professionals thanks to Amigos’ training programs. For the first time, trained carpenters and welders have established workshops, skilled women artisans are earning an income outside of the home through Amigos’ Manos Cruceñas Artisan Store, and restaurants around Lake Atitlán hire our culinary graduates.

External Reviews

Financials

AMIGOS DE SANTA CRUZ FOUNDATION

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
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Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable