A good education is the key to a brighter future for the children of Central America. While public school attendance is free in most Central American countries, many poor students are unable to obtain an education due to the cost of uniforms, books and other supplies. In 2003 the enrollment rate for the poorest Honduran children was almost 40% lower than the enrollment rate for their wealthier neighbors. Attending school is especially difficult in the rural areas, where children typically spend less than five years enrolled in classes.

Since 2000 the governments of Central America have realized that developing education is a good strategy for reducing poverty. National educational systems have made great gains. But the specter of poverty has continued to hinder this effort. Without proper clothes and supplies, underprivileged children are unable to benefit from public schools. Approximately 50% of the 7-12 year-old Nicaraguans and Guatemalans who do not attend school are missing out due to financial reasons.

Your contribution can change this situation. Each year we help children by supplying some of the basics that they need: clothes, books, writing utensils and other school supplies. These enable the children to attend public school classes.

The smiles of appreciation on these young faces are only the beginning of the rewards that come from your donation. A primary education makes a world of difference!

John Amerson
Steven C. Colón
Via Enneking
Jerry Lewitt
Jeannie Lilieholm
Lennart Lilieholm
Robina Shapiro
Shelly Yomano

19% of the population of El Salvador live on less than $1.25 per day.

There is no spot in Central America more than 125 miles (200 km) from the ocean.

The Panama Canal, built in 1904, is the only waterway to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The Pan-American highway runs through every country in Central America except Belize.

The El Salvadoran language Pipil is endangered, with only 20 fluent speakers.

Guatemala's civil war in the late 20th century lasted 36 years.

Lake Nicaragua is home to the Lake Nicaragua Shark – the world's only freshwater shark.

Nicaragua, in the heart of Central America's volcano region, has forty volcanoes.

Belize has the lowest population density but the highest population growth rate in Central America.

More than half of Guatemala's citizens live beneath the country's poverty line.

Belize's Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary was the world's first jaguar preserve.

The airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is ranked the second most dangerous airport in the world, due to mountains and a short runway.

The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest barrier reef in the world.

The average age in Guatemala is 20 years old, the lowest in Central America.

Panama is the only country in the world where you can see the sun rise in the Pacific and set in the Atlantic.

Chocolate dating from 1100 BC has been found in Puerto Escondido, Honduras.

The Resplendent Quetzal, brilliantly colored green and red with a long tail, is the national bird of Guatemala.

Panama contains the second largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere.

Honduras has 110 mammal species, of which half are bats.

In 1936 Richard Halliburton swam the entire length of the Panama Canal – and paid a toll of 36 cents to do so.

Costa Rica was the first Latin American country to abolish its standing military.