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Escalera Foundation – School Changes Everything

Our Mission

We exist to unlock access to economic opportunity for marginalized youth in Chiapas and Oaxaca through evidence-based educational policies and programs.

Our Vision

In 2030 we envision a world where all youth in extreme poverty have access to quality education. It is a world where proof drives policy: where trial-tested innovations become public policy solutions. Through coordination between government, nonprofits and educational institutions, all youth in extreme poverty leave school with the tools they need to succeed in the world, improving life for themselves, their families, and their communities, resulting in greater economic independence, delay in early marriage and childbearing, healthier children and greater gender equality in this generation and the next.

Our Progress So Far


Students who have received Escalera’s educational programs


Students benefiting from Escalera classrooms


Classrooms built


Cost of a one-year REACH scholarship

Our Students

Here are a few success stories of ours.


Our History

It all started in 1997 when Jan and Bryson Garbett, Escalera’s founders, had planned a trip to Disney World. They were ready for their Florida vacation when they heard about a service trip to help students in Mexico. After asking their eight children what they wanted to do, they chose to cancel their trip to see Mickey and his friends.

Since then, Escalera's work in Chiapas has evolved from working primarily in the Los Altos region to around the state. Our programs have changed based on the knowledge and experience we've gained over 20 years in the state. Year after year, we continue to seek new ways to motivate students to stay in school and follow their dreams.