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Mano Amiga Catholic School in Colombia

Population: 46,736,728
Percent Below Poverty Line: 27.8%

Colombia has population of 46 million people. 27.8% of those people live under the poverty line in dire situations. Although the country has roots in Catholicism it is not the prevailing ideology of the country. The government is doing everything in its power to increase security and stop drug trafficking and gang violence. Poor cities still suffer under this oppression though. Providing an education to a poor child in an impoverished area like the two Mano Amiga schools in Colombia helps change the ideology of the communities and helps children choose career paths other than corruption and violence.

Mano Amiga Colombia

Mano Amiga Bello

Students: 667
Founded: 1995
Location: Medellín, Colombia

Medellín, Colombia has a dark history of gang violence. The repercussions of this violence are still felt today, but Mano Amiga Bello is a beacon of hope in the midst of great difficulty.

Mano Amiga Bello opened in 1995, during the height of gang violence. In the beginning, there were just 30 students who attended class in a small home. Soon, teachers, students, parents, and neighbors started to help. They began building “their school” to counteract the indifference and destruction that was created by the violence in Bello.

Today, Mano Amiga Bello is a major educational institution in the area. It serves 600 low-income students, giving hope to impoverished families who can’t afford school otherwise.

Mano Amiga Zipaquirá

Students: 120
Founded: 2011
Location: Zipaquirá, Colombia

Mano Amiga Zipaquirá is located in a rural area in the outskirts of Bogota. Their first classroom had only 20 students but they hope to one day to have 900 students attend the school.

Today, Mano Amiga Zipaquirá is growing at a rapid rate. Out of nearly 11,000 residents, only 3,000 or so have some level of education. Visit the Updates tab to learn more about new efforts to support Mano Amiga Zipaquirá’s growth.

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