'50 Great Reasons' Campaign Launches: Plans to Send 50 Youth of Rural Guatemala to University

Anyone Can Help, and a Little Bit Goes a Long Way to Help 50 Young Mayans Pursue an Education and Rise from Poverty, Says Roots & Wings International

Online PR News – 21-July-2010 – – Spokane, WA, July 21, 2010 – Manuela Lopez is one of four children of a day laborer in the coffee-growing Guatemalan community of Pasac, Solola, one of the poorest areas in one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Her father earns the typical wage for the area – less than $2 a day – but thanks to a scholarship donation, the 24-year-old Manuela is in her second year at Panamericana University.

Determined to develop a program to help other young women from this rural, isolated region pursue an education, she is studying social work. Manuela is the first in her family and one of the first women in the area to go to college. She is one of 24 people from the community to receive a college scholarship raised by Roots & Wings International (RWI). The non-profit is dedicated to promoting economic development in rural Guatemala, and aims to raise 50 more university scholarships for the class of 2011 by the end of the year.

“Our campaign is called ‘50 Great Reasons.’ We award scholarships based on financial need, academic promise and commitment to work for the development of the local community. Our goal is to create educational opportunities to promote local economic development from within,” says Erik Swanson, founder and director of Guatemalan charity, RWI(http://www.rootsandwingsintl.org/).

“We are planning on raising $190,000 more to provide the 50 four-year scholarships, each $3,800. A little bit goes a long way to help, and we’ve set up different venues for corporations and persons to help with whatever amount their budget allows,” said Swanson.

RWI has several donation programs including contributing monthly, making a one-time donation, naming a scholarship, corporate gift matching, buying coffee, shopping at Amazon for the cause, volunteering with skills and time and starting a fundraiser. For more information on how to help rural Guatemala click here: http://www.rootsandwingsintl.org/youcanhelp/donate.htm

About Roots & Wings International (RWI)

RWI was created in 2004 by Erik Swanson, a business attorney at Bullivant Houser Bailey PC, then the director of a high school in rural Guatemala. The mission was to improve the lives of Guatemala’s indigenous population through education, training and technology. Thanks to the support of individuals and corporate sponsors, RWI has been able to develop three different programs – University Scholarships, Computer Literacy and After-School Tutoring – to help the students from rural Guatemala work towards the development of their native communities. To learn more about RWI’s “50 Great Reasons” campaign, visit http://www.rootsandwingsintl.org/campaigns/50greatreasons/index.htm.

Media Contact:
Vanina Sloan, Public Relations Manager
Roots & Wings International
Phone: 503-564-8831

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