Atlas Network members and friends are invited to celebrate with us at our annual holiday party in NYC on Thursday, December 8th. 

Come to learn about how freedom in education is making the ‘social gap’ irrelevant in rural Guatemala, as our freedom partners educate the poor at a for-profit school, called La Cima. Antonio Calí and Lorena Palmieri partnered together to establish La Cima school in January 2015 with the vision of empowering people through freedom in education that circumvents the government’s educational regulations. Believing that education can provide economic mobility in impoverished communities, they seek to remove the ‘victim mentality’ that is deep-rooted throughout the highlands, by equipping youth with the tools to improve their lives. Currently in its early and experimental stages, La Cima provides quality education at low prices for the community, without interfering with the all-powerful Education Ministry’s unions interests. And they have received quality endorsements from several local public teachers, who urge parents to send their kids to La Cima in the afternoons to reinforce what they learn at the public schools. Read more here: AtlasNetwork.org/news/article/empowering-children-in-guatemala

The event is free, but please bring a children's book (in Spanish or English) as a Christmas gift to help La Cima build a library for its students.

SPEAKERS

Antonio Calí Sotz became independent from his parents at the age of 13. He was one of the few young men in his village to finish high school, and later he graduated from the Public University in Guatemala and worked for four years as a teacher. He began to teach himself economics when he found Universidad Francisco Marroquín's (UFM) New Media website. The videos answered his questions about why his province was poor, and they piqued his interest. Antonio assembled his friends to read Manuel Ayau’s textbook, The Economic Process, together. They watched videos by other free-market thinkers, read books together, and discussed the materials.

Antonio realized that businessmen weren’t the “bad guys,” but rather that entrepreneurs are essential to a thriving economy. So he became an entrepreneur by starting La Cima school in January 2015. Antonio is also the founder of IDEAS-Comalapa, a think tank that disseminates free-market principles without libertarian jargon, to be accessible to everyone. He now has a radio show twice a week on a local radio station.

Lorena Palmieri de Morales is co-founder and board member of the Faith and Freedom Institute, a think tank created in 2014 to promote individual liberty and Christian values. The organization works with people from rural areas of Guatemala, pastors, and entrepreneurs to spread market-liberal principles within faith communities. The institute was inspired by Acton Institute and was founded while Lorena was still a student at the Michael Polanyi College at Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM), in a liberal arts program based on self-organized learning and creative leadership. Together with her husband Fernando, she ran the translation to Spanish of the DVD Series PovertyCure and the award-winning film Poverty, Inc. She worked on the award-winning documentary Poverty, Inc. as the Latin America Engagement Coordinator and Promoter. Lorena is passionate about reducing poverty through markets and entrepreneurship.