Escalera, a Utah based non-profit, that is transforming lives in the field of quality secondary education is celebrating two decades of 180 schools and over 100,000 scholarships to indigenous students in Chiapas, Mexico. Escalera invites members of the community, and our partners to celebrate this exciting milestone at an open house featuring a virtual reality experience that will take one on a journey from urban Utah to the highlands of the jungle where Mayan routine, customs, and culture live out daily in millions of lives.
Community leaders Jan and Bryson Garbett with their eight children decided to forgo their Disney vacation and instead took a service trip to serve an impoverished village in Mexico. Believing education could create economic independence, the Garbetts created an initiative to launch innovative educational programs to motivate students to remain in school. While Mexico as a whole has a high rate of illiteracy, Escalera has focused its programs in indigenous and mountainous rural communities in poverty-stricken Chiapas where the minimum wage was less than the average USD 4.70 and where 30% of children drop out before they graduate high school. Through the innovative REACH and COBACH Emprende programs that are keeping kids in middle school and encouraging them to continue high school, the Garbett family and Escalera are breaking the cycle of illiteracy in Chiapas. After this event, the Escalera team and the Garbetts will head down to Chiapas where they will spend their Thanksgiving break building the 181st two-classroom school. According to former governor of Chiapas, Juan Sabinas, these prefabricated schools have provided a model that they used to build 4000 schools under the "Una Aula Cada Tres Horas" campaign. Escalera and the Garbett family are excited for these upcoming milestone events and look forward to sharing this time with those who have been part of affecting change in Chiapas.