Our Story

Our Story

“What I treasure most in life is being able to dream. During my most difficult moments and complex situations, I have been able to dream of a more beautiful future.”

– Rigoberta Menchu, Guatemalan Social Rights Activist –

The Symbolism of the CasaSito Mural

The CasaSito Mural demonstrates our philosophy. There are many opportunities and problems in life. For those who participate in the CasaSito program, we give them tools that they can use to “catch” their dream. After going through our program, they see difficulties as challenges and they see problems as opportunities to grow. CasaSito does not hold their hand to reach the summit, but with us, they climb by themselves.

The Numbers Guiding the Dream

Literacy

Only 15% of Guatemalan students reach the standard reading level in 9th grade

School Attendance

Percentage of Guatemalan kids attending

Primary school: 78%

Junior high: 43%

High school: 25%

Graduation Rates

Percentage of Guatemalan kids graduating

Primary school: 86%

Junior high: 68%

High school: 77%

Other Factors

Pregnancy rate as an educational limiting factor

2124 pregnancies were reported in 2021 for girls aged 10 – 14 years old

97,478 pregnancies were reported in 2021 for girls aged 15-19 years old (11% rate)

Alice and Greg celebrate the 2022 anniversay of the founding of CasaSito.

CasaSito Answering the Call

Founder Alice So Fong Lee had previously worked in Guatemala and fell in love with the people and culture. Alice and her husband Greg Schwendinger made the decision to make Guatemala their permanent residence. With passion, commitment, and knowledge they saw an opportunity to support educational projects in Guatemala.

Together they formed CasaSito Association. “Casa” (or home) because Alice and Greg wanted to create a place where everyone feels welcome. “Sito” was Alice’s nickname, as she is like the small and powerful Sito scooter engine.

Their goal for CasaSito was to establish a small, close-knit organization that could have a deep impact in the communities in which it works.

Now that CasaSito is an established nonprofit in Guatemala, help us continue the story.

DONATE

Your contribution does great things for the Guatemalan community.

” CasaSito is an organization that gives us support to have a better future.”

-Program Participant: Soul Coy

Our Approach

We see winners with unique abilities and motivation to achieve their goals, NOT youth that needs to be saved.

We develop our services based on evaluation not only intuition

We create clear plans that guide our path

We construct a family atmosphere

We encourage critical thinking and not impose solutions

We develop management skills

We collaborate with projects to increase their self-sufficiency, self-sustainability, and self-financing

We manage our funds transparently

Our Values

Transparency and honesty

In the manner in which we manage our funds

A sense of self – improvement

Both within the staff and the youth. Self-evaluation and the desire to grow and improve, which means effort and constant work.

Respect

For the dignity of our scholars and their families

A sense of pertinence

We create an environment where all (participants, staff, volunteers, and donors) feel affection and that they are part of our mission.

Social consciousness

Being aware of reality and pose solutions

Solidarity and empathy

For our scholars and their families. We always take into account the well-being of our participants.