Founder Alice So Fong Lee had previously worked in Guatemala and fell in love with the people and culture, which made her feel welcomed and at home. Alice and her husband Greg Schwendinger made the decision to make land of eternal spring their permanent residence and together they formed CasaSito Association. With passion, commitment, and knowledge of successful development strategies in Africa and Latin America, they saw an opportunity to support educational projects in Guatemala. The name CasaSito comes from two words. "Casa" or home because Alice and Greg wanted to create a place where everyone feels at home. "Sito" because it is the name of a small, but powerful motorbike engine. They wanted to establish a small, close-knit organization, that has a deep impact in the communities in which it works.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
In 2008, the scholarship program for middle school and high school was created, so that talented students from rural and urban areas would have the opportunity to continue their education. In 2009, Workshops for students and their parents were added to the program as well as strong extracurricular activities including debate, music, and art. Thus creating CasaSito´s Youth Development Program (YDP). In 2013, after working in Alta Verapaz and El Quiché for 6 years, CasaSito established a solid presence in the area, and developed a robust program that is gaining more and more momentum. In 2014, CasaSito developed a pedagogical plan and today, we have a thriving youth development program which has a pedagogical strategy with realistic and achievable organizational goals, outcomes, and indicators that guide our path on academic, professional, and personal development.
In 2012 CasaSito began to work with partner projects in Sacatepéquez. Today we have alliances with Brillo del Sol, EducArte, Lavosi, Los Patojos, Mujb’ab’l yol, Musica en las Aldeas, Proyecto Educativo ¨La Esperanza,¨ Semilla de Esperanza y Amor, and Sonidos para La Vida