The average real minimum wage in Latin America has fallen by up to 35% since 1980
Labor is often the only asset the poor can use to improve their well-being
A 10% INCREASE IN AVERAGE INCOME REDUCES A COUNTRY’S POVERTY RATE BY 20-30%
- Underemployment in Ecuador is 52.5%
- 70% of rural Ecuadorians live in poverty
- 11.6% of women are unable to find work
- Cost of loaf of bread $1.43
- Farm workers earn $3/day; basic necessities for a family of four: $9.60
- Adult English
- Children’s English
- Library and Community Center
- Small Business Development
- Teen Center
- 76% of population lives on > $2/day
- Second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere
- A doctor earns $544/month
- Price of a meal at McDonalds: $5.00
- A teacher earns around $205 a month
- Adult English
- Children’s English
- English Vocational Training
- Youth Medical Career Education
Ecuador Livelihood Programs
English fluency opens a world of opportunities in Ecuador, where English education is too expensive for the low-income communities who need it most. Manna Project’s high quality, affordable English classes help students thrive. Small class sizes, strong student/teacher relationships and supplemental practice sessions result in high proficiency. Class participants gain self-confidence and sharpened mental acuity, and many graduate go on to obtain well-paying jobs.
Few schools offer comprehensive English language tuition. Where classes do exist, subject material is frequently incorrect. Private English education is expensive and out of reach for low-income families, yet English fluency is a valuable skill in Ecuador’s job market. MPI Ecuador meets the huge demand for high-quality, affordable English language instruction from native-speaking teachers.
The Chillos Valley is home to some of the greatest wealth disparity in the region. Many lack basic education, sanitation, and utility coverage. At Manna Project's Community Center, kids can play, learn and read; teens can play video games, watch movies, read and hang out; and adults can pursue continued education through interactive workshops and internet access.
Multiple studies have shown that children and adults who read do better in school or work. Reading reduces stress, increases focus, and improves analytical thinking, vocabulary, memory and writing skills. Manna Project's library is the first of its kind in the Chillos Valley and has a full range of books, games, puzzles and other intellectually stimulating activities for all ages.
Though Ecuador's economy is flourishing, the poorest sector of the population is unable to take part in the growth due to limited resources and education. The Small Business Development Program provides basic professional skills in business development, accounting and money management. Participants have access to resources to develop and implement specific, individualized strategies for success.
The Teen Center is a safe, dynamic drug- and alcohol-free zone exclusively for teens ages 12-19. Each month the Teen Center serves a core group of 50+ teens from underprivileged communities in the Chillos Valley. Participants in challenging circumstances find a listening ear, homework help, movie nights and outings.
Nicaragua Livelihood Programs
Learning a second language has been shown to increase overall cognitive ability, enhance performance in other academic areas, develop creative and critical thinking skills, and boost self-confidence and self-actualization. In addition, English language skills create employment opportunities in Nicaragua's growing tourism industry. Manna Project’s English program helps low-income adults develop the knowledge and understanding to enter this job market and thrive in all areas of life.
Nicaragua’s public schools face limited basic materials with a 40:1 student/teacher ratio. In this environment, it can take a student up to 10 years to complete primary school. Manna Project’s highly popular English program empowers children with English language skills that strengthens the fluency of the speaker’s primary language while increasing changes for overall academic success. English fluency can also provide lifelong benefit and upward mobility for underprivileged children as they grow up and enter the workforce.
One of the premier job opportunities for English-speakers in Nicaragua is to work for an English language call center. While there are many openings, few are qualified. MPI offers a course to train students in skills needed by local call centers. The end result of the course is that students possess the skills needed to successfully apply for and obtain employment at a local call center, thereby vastly improving the livelihoods of both themselves and their families.
The Youth Medical Career Education program, called Generation, prepares students for a career in the health field. Through participation in interactive classes, students learn to perform a full musculoskeletal exam and take medical histories. Students gain additional skills by volunteering in the Cedro Galán Health Clinic. Following completion of the course, students attend an intensive test-prep course in order to help prepare them for university entrance exams.
"In my house there are four people - my grandma, my aunt, my cousin and me. Neither my grandma or aunt work, so I need to study hard so I can work as a doctor to support my family."
- Genesis, 18
Resident of Cedro Galán, Nicaragua
"Economic growth is the most powerful instrument for reducing poverty and improving the quality of life in developing countries."
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Building Jobs and Prosperity in Developing Countries