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Rod and Sherry Boyd
Miguel and Maria Morales
Mike and Mona Shields


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The State of Training and Education in Spanish-Speaking Latin America

Elementary Education. Elementary education has drastically improved in the 19 Spanish-speaking countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region with 87.4% of those 15-19 years of age having completed at least a 6th grade education. The lowest rates are in Central America: Guatemala, 58.3%; Honduras, 70.6%, Nicaragua, 71.3%. Panama and Costa Rica are the highest at 95.0% and 92.3% respectively 1. The rate in the US is 98.0% 2.

Secondary Education. Secondary education continues to lag behind. An average of 66.2% of 20-24 year olds have completed junior high in Latin America, compared to an estimated 92% in the US. The lowest countries are in Central America: Honduras, 28.9%; Guatemala, 33.2% and Nicaragua, 46.3%. Panama is 70.7%. More alarming is the low high school graduation rate in Latin America of 46.8% compared to 86.7% in the US. Some Central American countries are dismally low: Honduras, 21.4%; Guatemala, 24.9%; Nicaragua, 33.9% and El Salvador, 36.5%. Panama is 52.6%.

Not surprisingly, the same Central American countries have the highest illiteracy rates by far: Guatemala, 17.8%; Nicaragua, 13.8%; and Honduras, 11.1%. Panama is 3.9%. The US is 1.1%. High illiteracy and non-competitive education contribute to chronic poverty in these countries. Other countries have added technology and English to their teaching programs, which improves their overall competitiveness.

Ministerial Education. Even though Spanish-speaking Latin America/Caribbean accounts for just 10% of Assemblies of God adherents in the world, almost half of the Bible schools and students are in these countries 3. This emphasis on training has postured this region for missionary outreach and future growth. The greatest challenge is to maintain quality and train the more than 6,000 teachers.

1 The State of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, UNESCO 2007
2 US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the US, 2012
3 Assemblies of God World Missions, LA/C Regional Statistics, 2009-2011

Completion statitics

“Go and make disciples of all
nations… teaching them to obey”
—Matthew 28:19

“Be transformed by the renewing
of your mind.”
—Romans 12:2

“If you are a teacher, teach well.”
—Romans 12:6-7 (NLT)

“Education is the most powerful
weapon which you can use to
change the world.”
—Nelson Mandela