Out of the 370 million indigenous people in the world, 70% are young people. In Colombia, home to one of the largest populations of indigenous people in the Americas, indigenous youth often drop out of school, facing discrimination, low parental literacy rates, and pressures to spend their time making money by selling handmade crafts.
Students who fail to qualify on state exams cannot attend state secondary schools, meaning those who fall behind lose access to further education.
Indigenous groups like the Wayúu people of La Guajira, remain one of the poorest groups in Colombia, struggling to thrive in the dominant culture and economy.
Working with indigenous leaders and ethno-educators, the El Origen Foundation has created an indigenous-first model that provides youth with a second chance at education. Running three rural schools in communities with the highest number of school dropouts, El Origen serves 1,000 students a year. Through hands-on curriculum featuring arts, music, and literature, students learn reading, writing, and math skills. Students also turn local craft-making traditions into revenue by accessing an online marketplace to sell their artwork. Students who pass the statewide exams enter formal schooling, while others continue learning at the Intercultural school of arts to graduate as cultural and creative entrepreneurs.
El Origen schools decrease the illiteracy gap and enable the Wayúu to leverage their cultural heritage as a source of learning and an economic driver.
As El Origen develops each new school, it adapts its model to the unique locale, language, cultural context, and teaching practices of the area, demonstrating a promising approach for building community-specific indigenous education across the region.
Our programs are currently based on Wayuu indigenous communities in La Guajira - Colombia. But they have been made to scale to disadvantage communities across the world.
We train children and youth to lead sustainable development and preservation of ethnic groups.
By 2022, the El Origen Foundation will be preparing more than 2000 young people as cultural and artistic entrepreneurs outside of illiteracy and extreme poverty each year in disadvantage communities around the Americas.
We train young people and children from communities with the highest illiteracy and drop-out rates. Thanks to our Second Chance Education methodology, they learn to read, write and count while creating arts, tales, music, photography, short films to access for the first time and / or return to education.
We offer vocational courses for indigenous youth with limited access to higher education and young people from the urban area to be trained as cultural and artistic entrepreneurs. Indigenous and non-indigenous youth create high quality works of arts together (paintings, short films, musical compositions and stories) that are exhibited nationally and internationally while promoting the social inclusion of young people and ethnic groups.
We invite tourists, children and young people to participate in our process. In 1 day visits and up to 7 days camps in the communities. To live an unique cultural experience while creating arts guided by young indigenous fellows, contributing to their sustainable economic development and cultural preservation.
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E - MARKET CULTURAL
The leading reason indigenous children in this region drop out of school is the financial pressures that they face. At a young age, these children are expected to walk and spend hours in local markets selling their crafts. This, of course, doesn't leave much time for school and sadly, many abandon their education.
You can help keep a child in school and support a young entrepreneur by purchasing one of our products featuring the artwork of our talented students.