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Roots & Wings International

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Roots & Wings International is a non-profit organization that provides college scholarships and other academic services to indigenous people of Guatemala.[1]


The organization was started in 2004 by Erik Swanson and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.. The stated mission of Roots & Wings International is to "create educational opportunities to promote development as defined by local communities."[2] Swanson believes that educating children is the best way to fight poverty.[3]

Roots & Wings International's scholarship recipients come from impoverished communities in rural Guatemala where K'iche' is the native language.[1] The college scholarships are awarded on the basis of need and merit. Most scholarship recipients are the first in their families to study past elementary school. In addition to the scholarship program, Roots & Wings International provides tutoring to elementary school children.

The law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP provides pro bono representation for Roots & Wings International.[1]

In 2008, Roots & Wings International raised approximately $25,000.[4]


Partnership with BuyWell Coffee[edit]

One method in which Roots & Wings International raises funds is by selling fair trade coffee from BuyWell Coffee, a major corporate sponsor.[5] The coffee plant is the primary cash crop of the communities in which Roots & Wings International operates, and BuyWell Coffee purchases coffee beans from this region.

Technology Center[edit]

With the help of TECO Energy, Roots and Wings International was able to open a Technology Center in the village of Pasac on November 12, 2010. The center provides computer literacy classes that have been certified by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Spotlight: Erik Swanson: September 2008". Student Lawyer. 2008-08-15. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  2. "Roots and Wings International Supports Indigenous Guatemalan Education". Rootsandwingsintl.org. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  3. "Roots and Wings Dream of a Better Guatemala". LatinoLA.com. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
  4. Unger, Mike (2009-01-21). "American Today - Opening doors to college in Guatemala". Veracity.univpubs.american.edu. Archived from the original on 2009-01-25. Retrieved 2009-02-13. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. "BuyWell Giving Programs". Buywellcoffee.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2009-02-13. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. "One of the Poorest Areas in Rural Guatemala Welcomes First Tech Center". WiredPRNews.com. Retrieved 2009-02-13.

External links[edit]

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