Welcome to the US Foundation of the University of the Valley of Guatemala

Welcome from Roberto Moreno

Greetings from Guatemala City. The members of the Del Valle Educational Group firmly believe that education is instrumental for the development of Guatemala and the Central American Region. We would be proud to share with you our work in areas crucial to national development. I would like to personally issue an invitation to you to visit us at any of our three campuses. In visiting our campuses, you would be able to experience UVG firsthand and you would also have an opportunity to meet our grateful scholarship recipients and see your philanthropic generosity in action.

Thank you for your interest in the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala.

Roberto Moreno
Universidad del Valle de Guatemala

Welcome from John E. Mack III

My family has a long history of doing business in Guatemala and direct involvement with numerous charitable activities, mostly focused on support for education of the rural indigenous Mayan people in the highlands region of Guatemala. In 2007 our family made a large donation of land around the town of San Andrés Semetebaj adjacent to Lake Atitlán to the University of the Valley of Guatemala (UVG) through the US Foundation (USFUVG), which I now chair. This donation entailed a commitment to raise additional money to support educational activities related to our land grant. (See more on this project in the San Andrés Semetebaj tab on this site)

As part of our family’s research to find the best educational institution in Guatemala for our land donation we became well acquainted with several of the leading universities in the country. They are all good and are rendering great service to Guatemala. However, it was the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) that made the strongest impression on me.

What attracted my attention so powerfully to UVG was how seriously the University’s leadership had thought through the complex problem of how to increase opportunities for higher education to Guatemala’s rural students. The University had learned that simply providing scholarships did not compensate for the under-funded public school system’s inability to prepare rural students to do university-level academic work. And they had also learned that the cultural adjustment for a student coming to Guatemala City from the south coast or highlands was formidable.

The University’s solution was to construct two branch or “external” campuses: one near Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, on Guatemala’s Pacific Coast – all of its students come from the surrounding rural areas; and, the other in the Altiplano, in Sololá, above Lake Atitlan – all of its students are indigenous Maya. This latter campus is on a former military base, decommissioned pursuant to the 1996 peace accords and leased to the University.

Each branch campuses offers four year teaching degrees, five year degree programs (Licenciatura) and Masters programs. Both campuses host an Instituto Tecnológico (ITEC), which combines the last two years of high school with the first two years of university and stresses technical and vocational skills. The ITEC program is similar to a US community college. Through distant learning technology, students at both campuses may take courses offered at the highly regarded Guatemala City campus. The total number of degree seeking students enrolled at these external campuses, as of second semester 2010, is nearly 500. Through a variety of outreach programs, however, each campus is having a much broader impact by providing short-term training to some 10,000 people.

Another distinctive feature of UVG is that each campus is co-located with feeder schools: a K-12 Colegio Americano school at the South Coast and Central Campus and a secondary school, so far, at the Altiplano campus. This is assuring a stream of academically prepared students.

The US Foundation was set up originally as a conduit for official foreign assistance funds, for infrastructure, commodities and equipment, from which UVG has greatly benefitted over the years.

Over time, our activities have expanded to include support for the University and its students more broadly, particularly for scholarships. We benefit from both institutional support and from the donations of people like you.

UVG is making a positive, powerful contribution to a better Guatemala. I thank you for your consideration of our Foundation and would welcome your joining me, my colleagues at the US Foundation of the University of the Valley of Guatemala, and the dozens of individual and institutional donors, in supporting the University’s efforts to construct a better educated and more socially equitable society in Guatemala.

Thank you,

John E. Mack III
Chairman of the Board
US Foundation of the University of the Valley of Guatemala

The UVG Campuses of Opportunity:

  • UVG Main Campus, Guatemala City

    Founded in 1966, UVG grants Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Licenciatura and Master’s Degrees. The most popular departments are Engineering and Education, representing 80 percent of students; Social Science, Science and Humanities are also offered. The Central Campus alone offers more than fifty academic programs. The University is doing well in reaching out to female students – 56% of its students at the three campuses are women. Since inception, UVG has been committed to providing educational access to talented students. Today, the majority of UVG’s students from all three campuses receive some measure of assistance. However, only partial scholarships are granted. Every student is expected to contribute toward his/her education. For current enrollment figures, please visit our website’s NEWS page.

  • Altiplano Campus, Sololá

    UVG’s Altiplano Campus is located in the central highlands of one of Guatemala’s poorest provinces, Sololá, by Lake Atitlan. This campus serves five provinces: Sacatepéquez, Quetzaltenango, Chimaltenango, Quiché and Sololá, where six linguistic-ethnic groups reside: Tzutujil, Quiché, Cakchiquel, Ixil, Mam, and Ladino (Spanish speakers). A former military base, the Altiplano campus was leased to UVG in 1999 after its decommissioning, following peace accords signed in 1996. In the last ten years, it has undergone remarkable transformation and today is a university campus educating the local, historically disadvantaged Maya people.

    Students from all over the highlands attend the Instituto Tecnológico (ITEC) here. This institute provides students with the last 2 years of high school, and 2 years of post secondary training, very similar to a US community college. The Instituto Tecnológico (ITEC) programs run by UVG are the only schools of their type in Guatemala.

    At Altiplano, UVG’s Education Department also runs a bi-lingual (Mayan/Spanish) program for elementary school teachers; it is the only bi-lingual profesorado (teacher education) program in Central America. The first class of teachers in this program graduated in August 2004.

    In addition, outreach programs are provided to people in the surrounding communities, including training for in-service teachers, farmers, and community leaders.

    For current enrollment figures, please visit our website’s NEWS page.

  • South Campus, near Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa

    UVG’s South Campus is located near Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, in the province of Escuintla, on the country’s Pacific Coast. This campus serves 4 provinces: Escuintla, Retalhuleu, Santa Rosa and Suchitipéquez, where the population is mainly Ladino (Spanish-speaking).

    Young students from all over the South Coast attend the elementary and secondary school here (Colegio Americano Sur/CAS), established by UVG some 15 years ago. Moreover, South Campus students can also attend the Instituto Tecnológico (ITEC) here, which operates with the same structure as at the Altiplano Campus: 2 years of high school and 2 years of “community college”.

    In addition, an intensive in-service teachers program is offered through this campus, by the Department of Education at UVG, in partnership with the Sugar Industry Foundation. It has trained over 4,000 school teachers with its in-service courses.

    As at the Altiplano campus, outreach programs also are provided to the communities, reaching men, women and youth, including the repatriados (returnees who fled during the country’s 36 year civil war, 1960-1996), in diverse program topics ranging from food safety to community building in a democratic society.

    For current enrollment figures, please visit our website’s NEWS page.

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    To Donate by Mail

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    and then mail with payment to:

    US Foundation of the University of the Valley of Guatemala
    PO Box 30
    Princeton, NJ 08542

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