VNB Community Counts--June 26th

June 26, 2009

The Ixtatán Foundation helps the people of San Mateo Ixtatán strengthen their community and economy. Eventually, the town’s economy, which is currently dependent on wages sent home by community members living in the States, will be vital enough to revert to an internal economy. For this purpose, education and jobs need to become available in San Mateo Ixtatán.

In January 2005, the Yinhatil Nab’en high school, run by the Asociación and sponsored by the Ixtatán Foundation, opened with 30 students. Five years later, 220 students are enrolled in the six grade levels. Local and foreign teachers work together to design a creative academic curriculum applicable to real life problems.

Nine students graduated in October 2007; the very first High School graduation to take place in San Mateo Ixtatán. It is the beginning of a promising future. Three of these students are continuing their studies abroad, two in Mexico and one at the Medical School in Cuba.

The Ixtatán Foundation has installed the first Internet service in San Mateo Ixtatán and an Internet café is open at the school. Students are making bricks and ceramic water filters and will help build the new school building, scheduled to begin in May 2008. Some of these operations will be moneymaking opportunities for the school – and will pave the way for lessons in accounting and business.

The foundation is currently collaborating with members of the University of Virginia Engineering Department to test the water filters produced in the school’s kilns and used to purify drinking water in the town’s homes. Doctors from the University of Virginia plan to send students for fourth year practical work in the mountains of the San Mateo Ixtatán area.

The Ixtatán Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and seeks financial and volunteer support, both in the US and in San Mateo Ixtatán, for many aspects of this exciting project.

To get involved, please contact Beth Neville Evans( to learn more about these opportunities and to offer your time and energy.

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