SERniña Guatemala


SERniña Guatemala

Our Mission

SERniña strives to end gender inequality in Guatemala, by fostering the ability of girls to discover their truest selves and develop the skills, knowledge, confidence and courage they need to consistently make informed life-choices from a place of self-knowledge, self-love and strength. We work in partnership with boys and men, so all members of our human ‘team’ can function at their highest potential.

Our Vision

SERniña envisions a world where all girls not only recognize the unique and valuable contributions they are capable of making, but are active agents of change in their society as well as their own life.

Why Girls?

Whether we are aware of it or not, we live in a world that still values, trusts, and empowers males over females. Every day that we perpetuate messages of female inferiority, whether overtly or subtly, those messages impact a girl’s sense of her own value and her ability to thrive.

Empowering young people is universally important, however, it is especially important that we focus on creating strong and independent girls because when we invest in a girl, it creates a ripple effect of positive change in her own life and in her community at large. With her self-value intact, she will grow up to be an educated, productive citizen, and a prepared employee. She will be the most influential force in her family and her greater community to break the cycle of poverty.

Our efforts are rooted in the firm belief that we all benefit when girls and women are able to create their own paths, reach their highest potential and work in partnership with boys and men to construct a more balanced society in which positions of leadership are held by both men and women.

Therefore, by creating stronger girls, we create stronger families, stronger communities, and a stronger world.

Why Guatemala?

Though this is a universal issue, it is especially problematic in countries such as Guatemala. Not only are young girls of Guatemala confronted with many of the same obstacles that girls from the developed world face, but they are also often facing additional harsh challenges everyday:

POVERTY: In Guatemala, 53.7% of the total population lives in poverty. And 75% of the indigenous population live in poverty.

LACK OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Only 49% of  adult women in Guatemala are employed compared to 86% of men.

GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: Gender-based violence is at epidemic levels in Guatemala and the country ranks 3rd in the killings of women worldwide.

GENDER INEQUALITY: Guatemala ranks 112th out of 135 countries in gender equality, making it the most gender unequal country in Latin America.

REPRODUCTION RATES: 50% of Guatemalan girls have a child before the age of 19. 20% (or more) of Guatemalan girls have 2 children before the age of 18.

What We Do

SERniña is a completely customized version of the ground-breaking REALgirl program created by Anea Bogue. At SERniña, we offer workshops to young girls in Guatemala coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. All our workshops include every core module of the acclaimed REALgirl Program, in addition to fully customized modules created explicitly for our young Guatemala participants, so we can accurately target the key issues affecting their self-esteem and empowerment.

We work in collaboration with local educational organizations to provide a program best suited for their needs. All of our workshops are taught by local Guatemala women who have been trained as SERniña Facilitators.

Program Overview

Guatemalan-based, Danielle Skogen, B.Ed., is the Program Director of the SERniña Program. In collaboration with local Guatemalan social workers, psychologists, school teachers and administrators, Ms. Skogen has worked closely with the Creator of REALgirl® to develop a customized program from the accredited REALgirl curriculum to best serve the girls of Guatemala. This empowerment program addresses the realities that girls face specific to Guatemalan history, culture, and society. The curriculum has also been extended to provide a more in-depth focus on each core module, as well as offer additional mentor support and workshops. The SERniña program was created to work with girls aged 11-17, however SERniña instructors are open to modifying the curriculum to reach younger or older age groups as well.

SERniña’s parent program, REALgirl®, is an international, groundbreaking program created by author, educator and self-esteem expert, Anea Bogue, B.Ed., M.A.  REALgirl offers camps and workshops in the U.S. (the home base for the organization), Hong Kong, the U.K., and now starting its expansion into Latin America.  Through our camps and workshops, participants are guided to develop tools they need to successfully navigate challenges every girl and woman faces today, including (but not limited to) body image, the influence of the society and gender roles, self-advocacy and goal setting, formation of healthy relationships, and the ability to be captain of her own ship. These skills are especially crucial for Guatemalan girls, many of which live in poverty and face numerous obstacles to healthy development and success. Through arts and crafts, yoga and meditation, dance, self-defense, theater games, guest speakers, group discussion, and more, each program participant will gain the tools and confidence she needs to live up to her full potential.

Program Features

  • Tools for self-reflection and discovery
  • Awareness of her capacity to create her own path
  • Identification and appreciation of her unique strengths
  • Body knowledge and appreciation
  • Awareness and trust in her instincts and intuitive wisdom
  • Critical analysis tools to filter media and societal messages
  • Tools for creating healthy relationships with herself and others
  • Assertive communication, boundary-setting, and self-defense
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem-solving and goal-setting
  • Strategies and tools related to financial literacy to enable financial independence
  • Understanding of human rights and how to protect her rights
  • Sexual health and reproduction education

The Program Modules

  1. Critical Thinking & Using Your Voice
  2. Discovering your REAL Self
  3. Understanding & Protecting Your Human Rights
  4. Creating your Own Path & Goal Setting
  5. Understanding, Loving and Protecting your Amazing Female Body
  6. Understanding and Protecting My Sexual and Reproductive Health
  7. Developing a Media Filter
  8. Analyzing Societal Messages & Gender Roles
  9. Creating Healthy Relationships with Yourself & Others
    • Add On: Financial Literacy
    • Add On: Claiming Your Strengths

To create a dynamic and engaging program, we facilitate workshops that incorporate games, art, lively discussions as well as having special classes teaching yoga, self-defense, dance, and theatre.

Program Formats

SERniña is flexible in its structuring and wants to collaborate with its partners to design a program that works best for their needs, schedule, and timeline. The SERniña program has been designed as a ‘living curriculum,’ with a very versatile and dynamic approach to empowerment.

The SERniña program is for groups with a maximum of 15 girls is recommended per group to ensure that each participant receives individualized attention. The program will be hosted at local schools to maximize the likelihood of attendance and to host the program in a familiar environment where the girls will feel secure. SERniña requests at least one schoolteacher or representative from the hosting school assist each week. All materials are provided, including personalized journals, art supplies, and take-away resources for the girls, their school, and family.

Our Team

Danielle Skogen
Program Director

Danielle Skogen, Program Director SERniña Guatemala

A teacher by trade, Danielle has always believed that education and empowerment are the keys to ending poverty. As a teacher for three years and a Manager of the Child Sponsorship Program of a Guatemalan NGO for two years, Danielle has honed her skills as an educator while also pursuing her passion for eradicating poverty and seeking out equal rights and opportunities for all.  In everything she does, Danielle follows the spirit of volunteerism and compassion that was sparked within her at a young age.

Danielle has immersed herself in the Guatemalan lifestyle. She cares deeply about understanding the customs and culture so that she can best support and collaborate with locals. Her work with youth and her desire to create lasting change in Guatemala ultimately lead her to pursing instructor certification with REALgirl. In her world travels and experiences abroad, Danielle was struck by the amazing strength and abilities that exist within every girl. However, she soon realized that due to the many messages and obstacles that chip away at their self-value, girls often do not reach their full potential. Danielle believes in the empowerment of all girls and women, not only to better their own lives, but also to create positive change on a global scale.

SERniño Program Coordinator and Facilitator

Born and raised in Guatemala City, Erik has lived through many of the harsh socio-political and economic situations which SERniña and SERnino youth face every day. However, these harsh realities have only made him more conscious and more committed to creating positive change in Guatemala.

Throughout his years as an activist and coordinator in Guatemala, Erik has led a variety of environmental, development and quality of life programs for the communities around the Lake Atitlán basin, at the department of Sololá. Through his specialization in Sustainable Tourism Management, he was able to work with youth and women’s group to empower small communities of Sololá. Throughout his life he has dedicated himself to making the world a more just, inclusive and equal place for all.

He is currently the Program Coordinator for SERniño, where he works with boys and young men to become the best version of themselves through the development of a better and positive masculinity and thus become a source of great energy and agents of change in their families and communities.

Erik firmly believes that empowerment, success and sustainable development can only be real and transcendent if it rises from human happiness and embraces a quality of life that dignifies each being from the heart and soul. He looks forward to bringing his strong skill set and fierce passion to make the SERniña and SERnino the most impactful and transformative programs possible.

SERniño Program Coordinator and Facilitator

Born and raised in England, Jessica has lived and worked in Latin America for over 10 years. Passionate about empowerment and education as the key to social change, she has worked in various roles, from a business manager to a teacher, a volunteer coordinator, an NGO project manager, a translator and an interpreter in Guatemala and Peru – always in awe of the beautiful scenery, enchanting culture and powerful, friendly people that surrounded her. She has always sought to immerse herself in the life and culture of Latin America and to truly get to know the context in which she works.

A firm believer in equality and a passionate supporter of women’s rights, Jessica is committed to inspiring people to change limiting perceptions of themselves and others, and to overcome their limitations so they might become conscious creators of their future. She has become convinced over the course of the last 10 years that the best way to change the future is by working with young people, so she is incredibly excited to be joining the SERniña team both as a workshop facilitator and a Program Coordinator.


Delmi, Facilitator SERniña Guatemala

Delmi is a vibrant, joyful and positive woman of the community of El Hato. Every day, Delmi overcomes many of the obstacles associated with being a woman in Guatemala. She constantly strives to work harder and advance herself, and most importantly, the life of her young son, Christian. She is inspired and grateful for the opportunity to work with SERniña to teach the girls of her village. She sees this as her opportunity to apply her passion and talents to make her community and country stronger.

Delmi received her diploma in Arts and Science with a specialization in Education. She is currently enrolled in San Carlos University studying for her Bachelor’s degree in Primary Education. She wants to be an educator because it is her great desire to provide the knowledge needed, so young people can develop their own learning and become capable and talented students able to transform their country. For the past 3 years she has also been working as a teacher’s assistant.

She is currently the main facilitator in her community of El Hato. She wants to work with the girls to help them develop strong self-esteem so they are independent and able to make their own decisions.


Gladis, Facilitator SERniña GuatemalaGladis believes strongly in the power of every girl and the power of every voice, qualities she exemplifies every day with her fierce and strong-willed nature. At only 19 years old, Gladis fights not only for herself but for all women in her country. She counters the machismo culture of her country with vigor and passion.

Gladis believes strongly in the power of every girl and the power of every voice, qualities she exemplifies every day with her fierce and strong-willed nature. At only 19 years old, Gladis fights not only for herself but for all women in her country. She counters the machismo culture of her country with vigor and passion.

When she was young, Gladis was very timid and hurt by the boys and men round her. This suffering deeply impacted her. She became a silent girl and told no one about what was happening to her. Unfortunately, she knows she is not alone in this. This is the story of a young girl growing up in Guatemala. Girls in the rural areas are the most affected, as they continue to grow up in the deeply rooted paradigms which disempower women. For these reasons, Gladis wants to dedicate her life to the empowerment of women and she is ecstatic about her new position with SERniña, where she can apply her passion to create lasting change.

Gladis received her diploma in Arts and Science with a specialization in Education. She is currently enrolled in San Carlos University studying for her Bachelor’s degree in Primary Education. She is currently studying to become a high school teacher.
Gladis is very happy to be working with SERniña and the young girls in the program. Her main goal is to guide the girls to have a strong and balanced self-worth and self-esteem so they can become their own heroes in life.


Maricela, Facilitator SERniña GuatemalaMaricela is a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother. Growing up in the village of El Hato, she had to overcome many obstacles during her upbringing. She knows that being a girl and a woman in her country is not easy. Her experiences motivate her to work with girls from Guatemala to give them the support they need to develop their self-esteem.

Maricela has her Diploma in Arts and plans to continue her formal education to create a better life for herself and her family. Previously, she worked on another women’s rights project where she met with local women’s groups to discuss their rights and how to practice them. This experience opened her eyes for the need for programs dedicated to girls and women, and motivated her to apply to work with SERniña.

During her childhood, she did not socialize with many people and that made her very shy. She does not want the same for the younger girls of her community because they are already so isolated.

With the support of SERniña, she wants to participate in the empowerment of girls to reach their full potential. Since her first SERniña lesson, she has seen positive change happening and is excited to keep building on this momentum.


Laura, Facilitator SERniña GuatemalaLaura is a native of Sacatepéquez and is passionate about the empowerment and advancement of her country, Guatemala. She takes pride in her ability to know herself and believes strongly that the most important step for women and girls is to decide who they are and create their own life from this self-knowledge.

Laura graduated from the University Mariano Galvez and now has a BA in Clinical Psychology. During her studies and professional experiences, she had the opportunity to provide therapy to children and adolescents. Through this, she was able to hone her skills as a caring, open, and patient facilitator. She is also a Zumba instructor and believes that movement and dance are an incredible way to stay connected to our powerful bodies, grow as a person and work on our self- esteem.

She is excited to practice her skills and knowledge of psychology with the girls of SERniña. She looks forward to guiding them to feel happy, loved, and powerful in their own bodies. In each of her groups, Laura inspires girls with her confidence, positivity, and abundant energy.

What’s Happening?

REALgirl endorsement from Elle Fanning and Variety magazine

Elle Fanning spreads the word about her favorite charity, REALgirl, and how it empowers girls to reach their full potential and lead positive lives.

Elle Fanning thanks Variety for donating to her favorite charity →

Read the article from Variety →

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