Guillermo Guevara grew up in a rural area of extreme poverty in Peru. He is the fourth of eight brothers. His mother cannot read or write and his father only went to school for a few months.
While he completed his higher education, each Monday Santos walked 6 hours to the study center and then each Friday walked another 6 hours back home. He repeated that routine for 5 years until he graduated.
Santos works in a rural area considered the poorest in the country as a primary school teacher. To get to his school, he travels by motorcycle for 2 hours, which during rainy season becomes almost impossible due to the mud. Residents are mostly subsistence farmers and the population lacks water, drainage systems and do not have telephone coverage. Until recently, no students who graduated from elementary school continued their studies, due to the remoteness of the nearest high school.
Santos teaches for all elementary grades in a single classroom. His approach is based on problem solving, on real issues, so that students become familiar with how to solve daily life situations. He is developing his students skills to become citizens, capable of questioning, seeking reliable information, systematizing it, analysing it and making decisions, considering the social and environmental implications.
But his work is not limited to the classroom. He has formed a fund managed by parents that grants education loans, which has allowed the school to be self-sufficient. In addition, he also serves as secretary of the peasant rounds committee, a group that comes together to ensure the safety of the community and his students. He has adapted methods from the Doman system where students in the initial grades are assisted by their parents in reading at home and this is complemented at school with quick reading techniques.
Santos has turned a single-teacher and low-income school in the middle of a rural environment into a digital and innovative institution. In addition, his students have become community agents with developed digital skills. Santos and his students have created robotic prototypes and their outstanding results have attracted students from other communities to their school. Now 100% of his students successfully complete the primary level, and continue to complete their secondary education.