At least 19,425 Guatemalans have studied in the Cuban literacy programme, Vielma Monteagudo, the national coordinator, said on Thursday.
Dubbed “Yo Si Puedo” (I can do it), Cuba's international literacy programme has operated in Guatemala for over seven years. According to Cuba's Prensa Latina, the programme has around 28 volunteer workers operating across six Guatemalan states, including the capital.
The programme uses a unique Cuban education model, developed specifically for mature age students eager to learn how to read and write. The programme itself has been used in over thirty countries, ranging from Venezuela to Nigeria and Australia.
Nearly four million people have benefited from the initiative worldwide, according to the Cuban government.
The programme uses audio/visual tools and experimental techniques to teach students how to read and write quickly, according to advocates of the course. The programme is adapted specifically to the geographic areas where it is implemented. Local vocabulary is also used.
Cuba itself has one of the highest rates of literacy in Latin America, at around 99.8 percent, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Comparatively, around 76.9 percent of Guatemalans are literate, according to UNESCO.