The Mayatan Difference
Today, Honduras has many bilingual schools, particularly in urban areas. Most Honduran bilingual schools are for-profit, do not offer financial aid of any sort, and educate only the elite.
Public Education in Honduuras
The Honduran public education system is limited by underfunded, overcrowded schools. The World Bank reports average student to teacher ratios of 33:1, but actual rates are frequently much higher. In Copán, school days are broken into shorter shifts of 5 hours to accommodate demand. Only 25% of Hondurans have educations beyond 6th grade, which is the last year of compulsory education. Moreover, in recent years, public school teachers have been on strike for more than half the school year.
Mayatan offers Honduras a different model of high-quality education in English and Spanish. It is a locally-founded, women-founded, non-profit bilingual school in a small town. Honduran NGOs are frequently founded by outsiders, which may affect their feasibility. The school has no religious affiliation. Mayatan provides small classes (6-20 students), and is expanding its new high school.
We provide scholarships to nearly half our students, thereby making a life-changing education accessible to students from all social backgrounds. Scholarships range from half tuition to complete tuition, fees, books, transportation, meals, and uniforms. Mayatan commits to funding all scholarships regardless of sponsorship, but it actively seeks sponsors to fulfill its obligations. Sponsors are usually individuals or groups of individuals from North America and Europe who discover the school after visiting Copán Ruinas.
Our different mission helps us to attract native English-speaking volunteers who deliver high-level English skills. Other bilingual schools with native English-speaking staff must charge higher fees and cannot offer scholarships due to salary demands. Our volunteers’ minimum commitments of one year or more help Mayatan to avoid the short-term, revolving door effect that some volunteer-run schools experience. Our social diversity is part of the high-level of service we offer all students: our full-pay students help to bring resources to students from less affluent backgrounds, while our scholarships students help to make our campus diverse.
In addition to foreign volunteers, Mayatan attracts a high-level of international help with funding, project planning, and guidance while remaining staunchly dedicated to its community-based roots. As a result, the school attracts Honduran staff members who have stayed on since the early days. The local community strongly supports the school, including our local business sponsors, by sending increasing numbers of students here, thus helping to continue our long-term success.
 USAID. Honduras Country Assistance Strategy: Fiscal Years 2009-2013.