Frequently Asked Questions

Can I visit Brillo de Sol?   Yes!  One of the things that makes Brillo unique is that it is a small school and organization, and many of our supporters have personal experience at the school.  Many of our sponsors have visited or volunteered at the school- visitors are always welcome! Just remember that the school year runs from January to October; be sure to plan accordingly if you want to visit while school’s in session.

How can I volunteer at Brillo de Sol?   You can email, or go to “Volunteer” under the Make a Difference Tab of the website and fill out the volunteer form.

What kinds of things do volunteers do?   Volunteer opportunities at Brillo are plentiful and varied.  Common projects include education-based projects such as working in classrooms assisting teachers, providing tutoring, teaching English as well as completing school improvement projects like building shelves, organizing materials and painting.  However, volunteers are encouraged to bring their own ideas, suggestions, and skill set.  Volunteers have taught culinary classes and baked treats, assisted students in creating costumes for parades, planted vegetable gardens, and created life-size chess for the patio.  Professional volunteers have created educational workshops for parents or continuing education for teachers.  Have an idea?….  Let us know!  Not sure? ….. Just ask!

Do I have to speak Spanish to volunteer at the school?   No! Speaking Spanish is a plus and definitely allows for more opportunities to work directly in classrooms assisting teachers.  However, many of our volunteers do not speak Spanish and they still have meaningful and positive volunteer experiences.

What does my money fund if I sponsor a child?   Sponsorship funds go directly to the cost of educating each child. These costs include paying rent for the school building, teacher salaries, and school supplies.  At times, specific students’ needs, such as medication or transportation, are brought to the Board’s attention. Sponsors may donate these special funds, in addition to their tuition sponsorships.

Can I send mail or packages to my sponsored child?   Yes….but did you know Guatemala has not had a functioning national, postal service since 2016?!?  However, Board members (and some sponsors) try to take regular trips to the school in Guatemala.  We do our best to deliver mail to and from Brillo during those trips; just contact us and we will try our best to make arrangements.    The Postal services resume in April 2019…we are not sure how reliable it is at this time.

Do families pay for their children to go to Brillo?   Yes, all families are asked to pay tuition, but the amount is calculated on a sliding scale based on families’ income and needs.   Brillo believes that parent and family involvement is essential for student success.  Therefore, all families are asked to pay something even if the amount is as minimal as 7 quetzales (about 1 US dollar) a month.    Sponsorship makes up for the costs of educating students that families cannot afford to pay.

Can I make a one-time donation?   Yes!  If you have a special project in mind, please tell us where to direct the funds.   Otherwise we will use our discretion as a Board.  We do our best to tell sponsors and donors what needs or projects their donations are supporting.  Feel free to contact us if you would like to hear more about current projects or needs.