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About Us

The School of Hope and our Further Education Program supports 679 students and their 385 families. Our extensive education, nutrition, healthcare, social support and employment programs seek to remove any obstacle to education and enable our students to realize their potential.

With one of our US partnersProject Apoyo we also run an entrepreneurship program, encouraging young talent to set up their own businesses.


Watch the latest videos from the school and foundation as we continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic.

Our Vision

That young people from all backgrounds have the ability to access quality education and opportunities for rewarding employment.

Our Mission

Driven by a commitment to equal opportunities, Education for the Children has worked with disadvantaged young people and families from the Jocotenango area since 2003 to access quality education, nutritious food, healthcare and social support.  We aim to empower young people with the skills and confidence to be successful in their chosen careers.

Our network of partner links in Guatemala is extensive. We're proud to be outward looking and collaborative. Read all about our Guatemalan partnerships.

Read our 2020 Annual Report as an on-screen flip book

Download a pdf of our 2020 Annual Report

View our 2020 Tax Return

Our History

Our founder Sophie McKee, volunteered in Guatemala in 2003 after watching a documentary and being inspired to visit and set up the foundation. It is still one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere with shocking rates of violence, illiteracy and malnutrition. 

  • 66% of the population live on less than $2 a day (World Food Programme);
  • 50% of children under five suffer stunted growth and ill health due to chronic malnutrition (World Food Programme);
  • 80% of children will never attend high school (UNESCO)

Eighteen years on, we are proud to be at the heart of the community in Jocotenango, showcasing Guatemala to the world. Its young people and families are talented, creative, culturally diverse and deserve a loud voice.

Our Team

Our majority Guatemalan team of sixty staff work hard to create a nurturing environment for all of our students. 

La Escuela de Esperanza (The School of Hope)

Aracely Chajón

Head of Social Services

Aracely started working at the Foundation in 2007 as our first-ever psychologist and today oversees the entire Social Services department, which provides support and assistance to our students in many different ways. Aracely's passion for the students we work with is apparent in her daily work, how well she knows every student and every case. She is integral to the holistic approach which EFTC provides to our students to support their education.

Patricia Castillo

Head of Further Education

Patty has been with the Foundation since its formation and was a part of the team who opened the doors to The School of Hope. She has held many roles in her time here: teacher, Head of Education and now runs our Further Education Department. She oversees, alongside her skilled team, all of our students through High School and University, supporting them during the hardest phase of their education. Patty has grown with these students – some of the students she helps support, guide and counsel today were in her classroom almost 15 years ago.

Brenda Cay

Head of Primary School

Brenda started working with the Foundation in 2013 as a second-grade teacher. After dedicating herself to further studies and becoming qualified in pedagogy and educational administration practices, she is now the Principal of EFTC´s Elementary School. She guides and supports our teachers through the same process she herself experienced, giving them new tools, strategies, and methods to improve their classes. She loves her work as the students are her biggest inspiration and every day brings new opportunities for growth in her professional life.

Nancy Judith Azurdia

Education Technical Director

Nancy has been with the Foundation since 2010 and is the heart and soul that keeps our Education department running smoothly. She ensures that all teachers get the resources they require for classes, provides focused support to the development of our literacy program, and much more. Nancy is passionate about social change and development, something that is apparent in the care and dedication she brings to the Foundation office every day.

EFTC (Guatemala Office)

Sara Miller

Project Director

Sara, our Project Director, joined EFTC in 2017 as the Visitor and Volunteer Coordinator and then as the Director of Development. Before that, she served in rural Guatemala as a Peace Corps volunteer developing youth focused educational programs as well as worked for various non-profits in fundraising and outreach. The two years she spent working in a rural Guatemalan community showed her the undeniable power of education and opportunity, which fostered her commitment to EFTC and the life changing impact the program makes.

Jennifer McCallum

Assistant to the Foundation Director

Jennifer has been at the Foundation since 2016, what was a short trip has become her passion and her home. She joined the Foundation with a background in International Relations and Development and after years of travelling and volunteering all over the world, including in her home country of Australia, she has found in this Foundation in Guatemala the place that is hardest to leave.

Kellen Buckley

Fundraising & Administration Manager

Kellen was the Volunteer Coordinator for the ESL program at her university, which provided English tutoring to the immigrant and refugee population. She has worked and volunteered with different education programs and NGOs in the US, Spain, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. She believes in the power of education, and loves seeing volunteers from around the world make a positive impact at the School of Hope.

Tephie Zea

Communications Co-ordinator

Tephie joined the Foundation in 2021. After several years helping students develop their technological skills at Colegio Sagrado Corazón de Jesús school in Guatemala City, she joined TECHO Guatemala and was inspired to work with young volunteers constructing housing and promoting social inclusion. Her dual talents of digital-savvy communicator and compassionate teacher make her a natural to take our communications programs to the next level.

Daniela Figueroa

Sponsorship Coordinator

Daniela spent her childhood in Mexico and Venezuela where she had the chance to travel and meet people from many different cultures. She studied Tourism Development at University in Guatemala followed by a masters in Rural Project Development in Spain. In recent years, she's worked as a Central American Tour Guide for Intrepid Travel. She joined as Sponsor Coordinator in spring 2021 and is excited to meet the students and get to know our sponsors.

EFTC (USA Office)

David McKee

Founder and CEO

David is one of the original founders and has been the Chief Executive of the NGO since 2003. He is proud to lead a talented and hardworking team of staff and volunteers in the UK, USA, and Guatemala.

Octavio A. Hinojosa Mier

Executive Director of EFTC USA

Octavio A. Hinojosa Mier has over sixteen years of nonprofit strategic leadership and organizational development experience. His passion for education and sustainable development in Latin America is directly derived from years of study, travel, and work throughout the region. Octavio was brought up in Kansas, the eldest son of Mexican immigrants, and knows first-hand the transformative value of a quality education. He currently lives in the Austin, Texas, area with his wife and three children.

Other EFTC USA Board Members

Brien K. Ashdown


Brien is President of the EFTC USA Board of Trustees and has served as a member since 2013. He has more than 20 years of experience in Guatemala in addition to his time with EFTC USA, mostly as a researcher and professor of Cultural Psychology and Latin American Studies. He travels to Guatemala at least once a year to spend time at The School of Hope. He brings along his students and research assistants as often as possible.

Paige Moffett


Paige, now the USA Board Secretary, originally joined EFTC in 2017 as a 3rd and 4th grade English Teacher, and returned to EFTC for most of 2018 to intern for the English Department Coordinator to help develop curriculum. Before moving to Guatemala to teach at EFTC, she studied experiential education and social justice at the University of Arizona. She currently works as Programs and Operations Manager at The Chattanooga School of Language.

Kelsey Carlton


Until Summer 2021, Kelsey served as the Director of Education for EFTC in Guatemala where she worked for over four years. Her commitment to continue to support EFTC as a board member is testament to her transformational work at the school. She is proud to remain a part of the foundation and support the students in Jocotenango. Her new role with VVOB: Education for Development, centers on supporting and advising the Vietnamese Ministry of Education on education initiatives in low income public schools. She’s particularly focused on literacy projects, teacher training, and strategic planning with the Ministry of Education.

Stephanie Honey-Morrow

Stephanie got involved initially through a close friend when she was invited to visit the school with a group of fellow nurses. Every Fall the team assist with medical care at the School of Hope, as well as some of the clinics close by. Stephanie is an ER nurse, as well as a volunteer firefighter and has three kids and a grandson.