Alan Clayton-​​Matthews, North­eastern pro­fessor, said he has wit­nessed first­hand one of the rea­sons why, in Santa María Tzejá, a remote vil­lage in Guatemala that saw brutal vio­lence during the 36-​​year civil war. Towns­folk fled to the moun­tains and refugee camps in Mexico, but then in the 1990s returned to rebuild the town.

They also built new schools, with the help of the church Clayton-​​Matthews attends in Needham and other sup­porters. The vil­lage now has a middle school. Vil­lagers and some out­side sup­porters are now raising money for a high school.

Now a lot of the immi­gra­tion to the United States from this vil­lage is from kids who have either a middle-​​school edu­ca­tion or a high-​​school edu­ca­tion and are coming to the US to make money to sup­port their other sib­lings,” said Clayton-​​Matthews, an economist.

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