New School for Indigenous Children

Before: Serankuan children attended classes in a tiny mud one-room school with no restrooms
Before: Serankuan children attended classes in a tiny mud one-room school with no restrooms
CIMIENTOS Program. Aracataca, Magdalena
USAID Helps Improve Education Opportunities for Indigenous Communities
Before: –Serankuan children attended classes in a tiny mud one-room school with no restrooms. Following discussions with the indigenous authorities (Mamos) the community requested a new school.
 
After: Thanks to the new building, the school has two new classrooms and proper bathrooms, which significantly improves educational conditions for 50 indigenous children from Serankua.
 
Serankua is an indigenous territory located in the rural area of Aracataca, Magdalena. Access to this reserve is difficult because of the lack of paved roads resulting in a 14 hour walk from the urban area of Aracataca.

Due to this lack of easy access, the Government of Colombia never invested in infrastructure for this community. In 2008, first grade students of Serankua were not able to receive basic education due to the inadequate classrooms and sanitary units). Additionally, children from the surrounding indigenous communities such as Garwan, Maranchukwa and Jechikin were not able to attend class at this school because of the lack of capacity.

As a result, USAID's Regional Governance Program facilitated the construction of additional classrooms and sanitary units respecting the traditions and decision making mechanisms of the Arhuaco Community. Funds for this project were donated by the municipal administration of Aracataca, the indigenous community and USAID/Colombia. The indigenous authorities Julio Torres, Cesar Niño and Rogelio assisted the inauguration of the classrooms alongside the indigenous teacher Onasis Izquierdo Torres who expressed the importance of this activity as it guarantees educational spaces for the children of these indigenous communities.

These new classrooms hold a capacity of 50 kids and have improved the relationship between the Arhuaco Community and the municipal government.

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Last updated: August 12, 2013

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