Partner since 2012


Investment to date: $34,000


2016 Students: 1,050


Cumulative Students: >3,200


ADIMTU is a locally-led community based organization with an innovative program targeting middle school girls, many of whom are from indigenous and poor rural villages.  ADIMTU is based in San Pedro Sacatepéquez in the Department of San Marcos, Guatemala.   Their initial research identified middle school as a vulnerable period where girls dropped out frequently due to early marriage and the expectation to assist with work at home, and to contribute to their families’ survival.  With this in mind, ADIMTU’s Leadership Institute was designed to focus adolescent girls’ development as leaders, learners, and community volunteers over the three years of middle school.  Based on the program’s positive results, feedback from parents and teachers and a desire to create broader change,  ADIMTU has worked with Department of Education colleagues to include boys in the program since early 2016 and transition implementation of the program to the government teachers hoping to eventually turn over the program to the Department of Education.


ADIMTU’s Leadership Institute aims to promote academic success, leadership skills and strengthen family support for education.  Each year has a specific focus:

  1. To better understand the lives of their parents students ask them questions about their family, education, and work experiences, creating a life story of their parents, written and illustrated by the students.
  2. Students borrow books from ADIMTU's library and read them to their families, fostering a culture of reading and conversation within their families.
  3. Students become big sisters/brothers for at-risk primary students, mentoring and tutoring younger students to keep them from failing or dropping out of school. 


  1. Move from a Girls' Leadership Institute to one for girls and boys in order to tackle and address broader gender issues within Guatemalan society and foster new pathways for personal, community and social progress.
  2. Document, evaluate and share results of the program and its outcomes with families, schools and the education system
  3. Seek avenues for longer term sustainability of the program, including seeking appropriate ways to transition the ownership and implementation of the program from ADIMTU to the Department of Education.


GEF invests in ADIMTU because there is great potential in the approach and methodologies they have developed and refined over the years to empower girls that have shown to effect positive changes in their academic success, including transitioning to secondary school at higher rates.  In addition, the strengthened ties between the students and their parents and family members and improved communication skills further help to improve their life opportunities. GEF is highly supportive of ADIMTU’s aim of expanding their program to include boys, and working towards mainstreaming their approach within the Guatemalan Department of Education.


ADIMTU is working in close collaboration with 13 government middle schools in rural areas of San Pedro Sacatepéquez in the Department of San Marcos. To date, during the partnership with GEF, over 1400 middle school girls; 500 at-risk early primary girls tutored; 200 boys; more than 800 mothers and other family members. In 2016, 650 girls and 200 boys in middle school, along with 200 primary students are being impacted along with 60 teachers and over 400 family members.



During ADIMTU's funding cycle we have worked to connect them to additional funding options.


GEF's investment has helped to support the refinement and consolidation of the program and the recent inclusion of boys into their program.


GEF has introduced ADIMTU to another partner our ours, the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy; sponsoring visits between each others’ programs and encouraging plans to collaborate further. 

“My dream is for my daughter to stay in school and become a professional so she can lead an easier life than I have had. I have always worked in the field, working very hard, long days, because I never had the chance to go to school. I want her life to be different”.
— A mother at ADIMTU's 'La Vida de mi Mama' program