Planting Seeds is a non-profit organization that seeks to eradicate the barriers that contribute to poverty by working with communities to provide high-quality comprehensive education for children and families throughout Guatemala.
Create a progressive, self-sustaining organization that improves access to and quality of education to develop healthy children, families, and communities across Guatemala.
Susan and Richard Schmaltz are both experienced Canadian educators. In 1999, they moved to Guatemala following a feeling Susan felt in her heart. After seeing first-hand the face of inequality in marginalized communities across Guatemala, they saw an opportunity to contribute with their expertise in education. Susan and Richard dedicated the next 20 years of their life transforming early childhood education in Guatemala. To learn more about Susan's story, check out her book: Beyond Belief.
Susan believed that learning should be fun and allow children to play, sing, explore and have autonomy of their learning. When education is done with love, children can grow into everything they are meant to be.
With support from Richard, multiple volunteers in Ottawa and Pembroke, and current Guatemalan Director Madeli Quiñonez, the Planting Seeds Methodology and Philosophy was born in 2001 and hasn’t stopped growing.
While we believe that early childhood education is the foundation to break the cycle of poverty, we recognize that our approach needs to be more comprehensive when working with such marginalized communities.
Through support from old and new friend circles, we have been able to expand the work that all regions do, focusing on providing access to books, training parents as primary educators, partnering with other organizations to meet basic health and nutrition needs, and providing complementary programming based on specific community needs.