A school climate in which success and high expectations align (rather than conflict) with the authentic values of Mayan culture allows Girl Pioneers to retain an internal connection with their community and identity. As a result, each will be an engine of growth—empowered within and beyond her indigenous culture.
The Starfish Impact School is designed to create a choice-filled life for Girl Pioneers, but not at the expense of their cultural identity. SIS leaders have been very thoughtful about the school’s definition of culture; consulting families, local leaders, Girl Pioneers, and national business elites.
“Culture” in Mayan Guatemala is often falsely defined only by external factors such as language and dress. This rigid definition does not consider a more profound and personal internal definition. Through integrating the unique cultural components of Mayan culture, specifically the internal elements of philosophy and community, Girl Pioneers will retain a healthy tether to their identity, regardless of their geographic location, and be able to engage in 21st century opportunities with self-determination and mobility.