Online Spanish Lessons Build Literacy in Guatemala

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Earnings from Online Tutoring Fund Educational Programs for Impoverished Children

Speak Shop, http://www.speakshop.com, a pioneer in online language tutoring via webcam, reported today that hundreds of impoverished children are now reading books as a result of its innovative partnership with PROBIGUA (Proyecto Bibliotecas Guatemala).

PROBIGUA operates the largest non-governmental library program in Guatemala, funded in part by proceeds from its Spanish school. Speak Shop began collaborating with PROBIGUA in 2004 when its Spanish tutors became the first in the world to teach online thru the company's website http://www.speakshop.com.

Created to fight poverty and to connect people around the world for face-to-face language lessons, Speak Shop helps Spanish tutors work their way out of poverty by running their own online tutoring business. In exchange for using PROBIGUA's computers, accounting, marketing and technical support, online tutors pay the school a portion of their earnings. Every time a student takes a live Spanish lesson thru Speak Shop, he or she supports fair trade and literacy in Guatemala. Most recently, proceeds from PROBIGUA's participation with Speak Shop along with a donation from a Speak Shop student funded 60 desks for rural children and library books for 7 schools.

Speak Shop's global customer base has provided tutors with sustainable income and thousands of dollars of funding for PROBIGUA's educational programs. "We were excited to work with PROBIGUA's tutors because of their teaching skills and because of PROBIGUA's broader educational mission," says co-founder, Cindy Cooper.

About Speak Shop
Speak Shop was founded in 2004 to increase access to cross-cultural foreign language education and to generate economic opportunity for people in developing countries. People around the world use Speak Shop to take live Spanish lessons by videoconferencing online. For more details visit http://www.speakshop.com.

About PROBIGUA
Academia de Español PROBIGUA (Proyecto Bibliotecas Guatemala) is dedicated to: 1. providing an intensive, total-immersion Spanish experience; and 2. helping the children of Guatemala by donating the school's profits to establish and maintain libraries in poor rural villages without access to books. For more information, visit http://www.probigua.org

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CINDY COOPER


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