Central AmericaCristi Ambroso- Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic's educational system is not the most advanced out of all the countries in Central America, but it does have a moderately high education rate though. Like many of countries, the countries in Central America have an educational system that is free to all children in the country. The only cost to the families is that the children have to purchase their own school supplies and uniforms. Also, like other countries in Central America the school is only mandatory to a certain age point. Although in the Dominican Republic they have the youngest age that a child could leave school at 6th grade. Another commonality the Dominican Republic has between the many of the Central American countries is that the schools and educational system lack funding. Despite the lack of funding, the schools still try to hold on to their art programs and encourage the children to express their cultural tradition and spirit through their work. We also found it interesting that the reasons behind the Dominican Republic's use of school uniforms is different than other countries. The people take great pride in how they dress in the Dominican Republic and enforce uniforms to meet this cultural value. We found it interesting that the Dominican Republic still has a rather functional education and high literacy rate despite the fact that thousands of schools were destroyed in 1998 by Hurricane Gilbert.

Jasmine Harris - Jamaica
Lauren Suarez- Cuba
Cuba has free education for everyone and up to any level of education. The school is mandatory for every child up to high school level after that is optional if you like to go to collage or not. There are however certain jobs that do require higher education, and one of them is education. To be a teacher and to be an arts education teacher, one has to have a bachelor. Cuba has almost 100% literacy rate and is not at maximum because of more rural parts of the country where schools are far from their homes. There are specific training the teacher will go through in their studies to integrate the arts and the arts up to the 6th grade is mandatory in the curriculum since the arts are a big part of the country's culture. The country founds all of the training and education of students and even though the country is poor it has many after school and community arts programs that one can participate in. In most things Cuba is most like Costa Rica and least like Belize. Cuba is still a poor country like all the other Central America countries, but they have an advance educational system with free education for anyone.

Jordan Reaume- Costa Rica

 Costa Rica's educational system is one of the primary concerns of the country. The government dedicates 1/3 of its total budget to education. Costa Rica was the first country in the world to make education available to everyone and mandatory. For this reason, there are elementary schools and high schools available in every city, town and village. Compared to Mexico and Belize, the educational system in Costa Rica is more developed and includes arts education in the curriculum. Unlike Mexico and Belize, teachers and art teachers do require a mandatory amount of training from a university that is around four years. Costa Rica, Mexico and Belize do have the fact that they provide at least a basic education to its children at no cost to the individuals. Belize and Costa Rica also do have programs in which they encourage the youth and the community to participate in. We as a group were surprised at the drastically different education styles that were in place in Costa Rica's surrounding neighbor countries.

Ashley Reeves- Belize
Belize's education system is still in the developing phase. With their newly found independence in 1981 they still have a lot of catching up to do with the other Central American countries. They are more focused on building their nation now than on education and especially arts education. Like the Dominican Republic children in Belize receive free education until they reach the high school level where they have to pay for tuition. Also like the Dominican Republic many of the arts in Belize reflect their culture, because they are very proud of where they have come from and the advances they have made to the present. Belize differs from Mexican education quite a bit being that Mexico prohibits religion in schools. Belize actually has many of their schools ran by the Ministry of Education and this is how they get most of their funding. Also, Costa Rica seems to be much farther ahead of Belize in their training for teacher education. In Costa Rica a student can actually receive a Bachelor in Performing Arts, where in Belize this does not exist yet. There are programs in universities for arts education, but the degree is still in the Education field. A main difference in Belize from the other Central American countries is that Belize has the lowest population, and therefore the smallest amount of students attend school. The percentages of children in school are much higher in the more developed countries. We found it interesting the difference in all of the Central American region's education systems.They all seem to have small similarities, but no two are exactly alike.

MARKO MITKOSKI - Mexicomexico.jpg
Mexico’s schools need to fix the way that they are running the programs they offer to their students. The students are not able to have a wide variety of options with learning and are losing opportunities in life by not seeing these things. It seems like other nations are spending more money on education compared to what they are doing with the rest of their other money. Costa Rica uses 30% of their budget for students and education making it mandatory for everyone to go to. Mexico is not doing all it can to give these students what they need. Also the art teachers in Costa Rica require training from an university while in Mexico most of the art teaching comes from the elderly. Like stated earlier though Mexico, Costa Rica, and Belize do give their youth the opportunity to go to school and become a part of society with the education that is provided. You would think that the countries would work together to make a better educational system for everyone and help each other by bouncing off ideas off each other but that is not that case here in Central America.