What does the word Milpa mean?

Milpa is what rural Guatemalans refer to as the corn still growing on the stalk. In the Maya culture, corn is the staple crop that not only represents the majority of the rural persons diet, but also the spiritual guidance used since ancient times. Just like a child, Maya communities nurture, protect and support their milpa in order to envision a better future. The corns’ progression ultimately determines a community’s wellbeing.

What does Milpa do?

Milpa is a scholarship program dedicated to providing a world-class education to rural students in Guatemala. Milpa is a non-profit sector of Hiptipico, a sustainable fashion brand operating out of Guatemala. Hiptipico provides access to global markets for Mayan artisans in rural Guatemala. Via Milpa, Hiptipico can help fund their artisans’ children to attend the highest quality academy in Guatemala. Milpa funds directly sponsor these rural Mayan students to attend an international institution that focuses on a high quality education and extensive curriculum while embracing the local culture. Click here to learn more about how we partner.

Does Milpa only partner with one school?

Atitlan Multicultural Academy was our first pilot beneficiary school and we plan to grow and partner with many international schools around Guatemala.

How does Milpa function?

Click here to learn more about how the Milpa Scholarship Program works to support Mayan students in Guatemala.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes! Milpa is a non-profit organization and will be a 501(c)3 in 2014. Any donation, fund or gift made in 2013 is tax-exempt in the 2014 tax season.

Why do I have to provide my home address?

Each sponsor receives a free handmade Hiptipico gift from Guatemala!

Can I sponsor more than one student?

Yes! You can donate $5 or more to multiple students on MilpaMaya.org. You can add various donations to your cart and checkout once you are complete.

How do I know my donation goes directly to the student and family pictured?

Milpa provides frequent updates on your sponsored child via email. We will share photos, videos and school projects of the student right to your inbox.

What happens if the scholarship I partially funded is not fully funded by the end date?

In most situations, we will extend the date. In such a case, if it is too late in the year, the funds will go towards the following academic school year or to another student of your choice.

How do make sure the student I fund has a long-term education?

You can become a life-long funder and provide a long-term scholarship to a particular student. This will ensure the student has a continuous uninterrupted school career. Please click here to learn more about becoming a life-long funder.

Milpa is committed to making sure that all sponsored students have an uninterrupted education. Through alternative fundraising and larger donors, Milpa ensures that all students will have a long-term academic career and never be released from school due to lack of immediate funding.

Why Mayan students?

The majority of indigenous peoples in Guatemala are of Mayan descent. There are 21 different Maya ethnic groups in Guatemala making up an estimated 51% of the national population, mainly concentrated in rural areas. The indigenous populations of Guatemala are significantly marginalized from basic opportunities in their own country. This prejudice can be traced back to the conquest on the New World; however more recently, Mayan populations are still discriminated against. During Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, Mayan populations were targeting and nearly exterminated. The UN intervened in 1996 implementing Peace Accords to protect the Mayan populations of Guatemala.

More than 90% of the indigenous population lives on an income that is lower than the poverty line.

Why can’t I sponsor a child to go to a public school?

Milpa’s mission is to create leaders that change their communities. Leaders that can introduce their family’s artisan business to the global market. Leaders that have the bilingual, multicultural and high quality educational foundation needed to make them real change makers.

Milpa believes that Mayan students deserve the best education available. While there are many scholarship programs that fund students to attend a government run public school, at Milpa we know that can be limited. Many local Guatemalan schools are run down, lack resources, and are low quality.

Why should I donate to a private school?

Private schools dp not profit from any donations made via Milpa. These academic institutions simply open their doors, its resources, its teachers, and its facilities to any student who is funded via Milpa. Our partner schools are dedicated to reaching more students from rural areas and providing a high-quality multicultural setting for its learners.

What does the pledged amount represent?

The pledged amount simply represents tuition. In certain cases, travel costs are added to further assist the family in paying transport from the rural areas to the school.

Half-Day Pre-K: $1500 per year. Elementary: $2400 per year. Middle School: $2600 per year. High School: $3000 per year.

How does attending an English speaking private school help the Mayan culture?

These schools offer a world-class curriculum that fulfills all international accreditation requirements. In addition, they provides Spanish and Kaqchikel classes to all students. Students sponsored through Milpa are required to complete community projects that embrace their cultural heritage and help maintain their indigenous identity.

What do sponsored students have to do to maintain their scholarship?

Milpa sponsored students are required to maintain a certain grade point average, fulfill attendance requirements and participate in community projects that represent their Mayan heritage.

What if the student I funded can’t maintain a high enough average?

Our partner schools have highly qualified and dedicated teachers who are available to help before and after school. Milpa is confident in the community’s power to work with any student who might need a little extra help.

Can Milpa ever take away a scholarship?

In the event that a family cannot continue to send their child to school or a student cannot comply with the scholarship requirements, Milpa can take away a scholarship. While this is unlikely, and Milpa takes many steps to prevent this (home visits, support groups etc.) certain personal circumstances can prevent families from sending their child to school. If your sponsored student is unable to continue studying, we will contact you directly and transfer remaining funds to another student of your choice.

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