Guatemala Leadership Academy

Country: Guatemala

City/Town: Northeast (Zacapa and Izabal) and Southwest regions (Suchitepéquez, Retalhuleu, Escuintla)

CarePoint: N/A – Countrywide program

People Impacted: 20

Estimated time to complete:
Phase 1: One year
Phase 2: Individual Plans in place

Areas of Transformation


Economic Development

Project Description

The Guatemala Leadership Academy (GLA) equips youth as emerging leaders, with skills that promote community transformation, stewardship, and active community leadership in addition to spiritual impact and transformation.

Historical Background

Children’s HopeChest has been working in Guatemala since 2012. During this time, HopeChest has conducted various community assessments in an effort to identify the best means and approaches to reach our goals for community transformation. We have concluded that one of the areas needing to be strengthened in Guatemalan communities is effective leadership development.

Raising a generation of leaders who love and fear God, have a passion to transform their communities, have relevant skills, and have access to opportunities, is key in the process of transforming communities in Guatemala. We believe that these leaders will be agents of change to inspire and mobilize communities to be on the path for a different and better future.

To accomplish our role in equipping local leadership, we have designed the GLA to train emerging young leaders with skills that will promote efforts to achieve community transformation through vocational training and business entrepreneurship.

The GLA is designed for youth between 18 to 22 years of age who have finished high school, and who have been a part of HopeChest Guatemala’s programs at a CarePoint. The participants must have an entrepreneurial spirit, possess the desire to learn a trade, and provide two references from local leaders who attest to how the candidate has exhibited leadership traits in their community.

Return on Investment Potential

Participants will go through two phases of the training.

Phase One: During the first year, 20 students will attend a vocational training school from Monday through Friday. The students will also attend leadership and discipleship training that will be provided by HopeChest Guatemala twice a month.

Phase Two: The GLA will consider students’ grades and behavior to choose the top eight students, who have shown entrepreneurial skills and leadership potential during their training. In this phase, these eight students will present individual business plans to a panel of overseers who will grant them a micro-business loan to launch their small business in their community. HopeChest will create a timeline for each student to recapture the funds of their loan and then, pay their micro-business loan forward to another student in a future GLA.

This training empowers young adults in Guatemala to build healthy businesses in their communities, which will stimulate their communities’ economies through their entrepreneurship and leadership training.

Additional Impacts

  • Enhancing the leadership skills of the participants
  • Creating opportunities for participants to acquire formal vocational skills
  • Mentoring young community leaders each year to be trained and empowered for leadership
  • Investing in the entrepreneurship development of the participants in the program
  • Promoting a culture of business economic development initiatives in the communities where HopeChest is working

Volunteer and Travel Opportunities

Investors can support the mentoring process throughout the year. This can be done through visits to the GLA or via calls with the leadership team.

Engagement Opportunities

Other ways to support the GLA:

  • Support the mentoring process throughout the year. This can be done through visits to the GLA or via calls with the leadership team.
  • Participate in monthly prayer times with the students.
  • Businessmen and women can be involved by funding a small business loan for one of the youth. We also invite them to come and provide additional training on good business practice.