Art is a very important area of learning. Academic studies suggest that art increases academic skills such as critical thinking and finding solutions to problems. Similarly, art fosters personal skills such as self-esteem and self-confidence. CasaSito’s Art Club has several classes in different types of art such as visual arts, cinema, and art history.
The main purpose of this club is for our youth to learn more about computer literacy. We have a tutor who teaches skills for word, excel, and power point. By having computers available, they get the opportunity to practice and expand the skills that they learn at school. We also teach research skills, discuss social media, and look at other online tools that could be of use to them.
A 12 week program teaching how to build and defend arguments. Participants learn research, analytical, and public speaking skills. These are important skills that are not usually taught in Guatemalan schools. Through very practical and interactive exercises, the participants practice debating techniques on different Guatemalan issues like violence, banning alcohol, and the role of women in the government. The Debate Club culminates with a Finals competition where participants demonstrate a firm grasp of skills learned. In 2014, the topics for the Finals were “Social networks isolate the youth” and “Should street vendors be prohibited in Antigua?”.
The English program at CasaSito is designed to build and improve our youths’ English skills. Our goal is for the students to be comfortable using everyday language. Our program started in 2016 with Beginner group classes, but Advanced students can take private tutoring lessons with CasaSito English Volunteers. As part of the program, we have the English Chat Cafe, where volunteers join our youth to practice English conversation in a relaxing environment. Each year we will be adding new levels until we have a strong English program that allows our youth to reach advanced English skills.
Provides academic support to struggling students. Gives our youth the opportunity to learn or re-learn concepts through engaging and participatory methods, and prepares them for university entrance examinations.
Music is a tool of creativity. It motivates students, and instills habits and discipline, determination, responsibility and perseverance. In this club, CasaSito youth have the opportunity to learn to play instruments like guitar, violin and marimba; Guatemala's national instrument.
One of the most important skills is the ability to read a book, understand, and analyze, thus forming life skills that support growth at all levels of development: academic, personal, and professional. Since memorization and repetition are still a practice in many centers of study, the book club provides an essential education for our youth. Among the books that have been discussed are The Little Prince and Metamorphosis.
The theater of the Oppressed is an educational and therapeutic tool in which participants create a play based on their real life experiences. In 2014, the scholars authored and performed a play about ethnic discrimination against indigenous Guatemalan people. “Caites" tells the story of two girls who transgress prejudices and become friends. They face contempt from their parents, teachers, and peers who claim that the young Ladina is lowering her social status by befriending an indigenous girl. Through this program, participants become empowered and learned how to speak-up and defend their rights.
In Guatemala students must choose a career track between the ages of 14 and 15. However, most individuals don’t have the tools to form an opinion about this life changing decision. It is for this reason that CasaSito provides vocational guidance, which includes psychometric testing and career information, in an effort to help them select a career with which they can identify and like.