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Dear Decaturish – Decatur High Interact Club helps student in Guatemala

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Dear Decaturish – Decatur High Interact Club helps student in Guatemala

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Dear Decaturish,

Did you know that in Guatemala school is only free through the 6th grade? The educational system is significantly under-funded. Many classrooms across the country, especially in rural areas, do not meet minimum standards for space, teaching materials, equipment, furniture, water, and sanitation.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, the average student in Guatemala goes to school for about 6.5 years and is only expected to attend through the 10th grade. When you compare that to the United States, we average 13 years of school and are expected to complete college. These disparities inspired the Decatur High School Interact Club to partner with the non-profit called Yuda Bands.

“Ayuda” is the Spanish word for help, aid, or assistance. The mission behind this fundraiser is to improve educational opportunities and end the cycle of generational poverty. The non-profit organization funds a high schooler’s education by making and selling handmade Guatemalan bracelets. Every bracelet purchased will help an international high schooler pay their school fees.

Yuda Bands sends bracelets to sell, and all the profits are donated to sponsor a student overseas. It was a tangible way to get DHS students involved in bridging the education gap and promoting a sense of international community.

The club wanted to support Lucy from Guatemala. She’s of Mayan descent and is currently in the sixth grade. Lucy would like to continue her education with the support of Yuda Bands. Our Interact Club wanted to be a part of this mission as well. We worked with the National Honor Society and Key Club. We sold bracelets at lunch, faculty and staff meetings, the Decatur Rotary Club, and Sushi Avenue in the Square.

The Yuda Bands fundraiser is made possible by students and clubs from all around the United States. The organization has raised over a million dollars that will support 700 Guatemalan students. The Decatur High School Interact Club raised a total of $2,312 to support Lucy for approximately five years.

It was great to have the club members involved in each stage of the fundraiser, from making the posters to selling the bracelets to talking to Lucy on a Zoom call to support and positively impact her educational goals.

We wanted to thank supporters from Decatur High and across our community for helping sponsor Lucy. Thanks to the ayuda from this community, she will be able to continue attending school from 6th to 11th grade!

With gratitude,

Keiko Ito, President Decatur High School Interact Club

Vanessa Layne, Decatur High Spanish Teacher, Club Sponsor

Nikos Verlenden, Vice President of Interact Club

Sidney Salcedo, Secretary of Interact Club

Molly Soulen, Treasurer of Interact Club

Eryna Furuta, Social Media Coordinator of Interact Club


Students supporters (from Interact Club, National Honor Society, and Key Club):

Sophia Phillips

Ariana Tyrones

Hazel Patty

Jason Park

Elle Girard

Allister Lowery

Marina Caobianco

Jeffrey Markowitz

Adrien Tirouvanziam

Audrey Hagberg

Ella Dittmer

Annie Greer

Lucy Marti

Lucy Cone

Nikhil Karkare


Other entities that helped spread the word or supported the fundraiser in any way:

Decatur Rotary Club

Decatur High School Staff

Sushi Avenue Decatur

National Honor Society at Decatur High School

Key Club at Decatur High School

Spanish Club at Decatur High School

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