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Our Impact – Escalera Foundation

Did you know?

In Mexico, students complete an average 9.1 years of schooling; while in Chiapas, students complete 7.4 years of schooling. In other words, students aren’t going to high school. High school graduates are more likely to have children as adults, increased earnings and creates happier and healthier communities.

Our Impact

Since 1998, we have provided hundreds of thousands of students with the motivation to continue going to school. We have achieved this by providing students with scholarships, creating classroom activities and building classrooms. As we’ve grown and learned more about the students in Chiapas and their needs, we have changed our programs to ensure the best results.

To do this, we measure our programs through a randomized control trial, this helps us better understand our programs' impact. Let’s say we have a group of ten schools, five schools will be randomly selected to receive our program while five will be the comparison group. We use this method because RCTs are considered the best method to measure impact and it helps us update our program year to year and provide students with what will motivate them the most to stay in school.

Our Programs

Escalera promotes access and quality education through building schools, delivering programs in schools, partnering with school systems, and focussing in a defined set of communities where we have strong ties. Each program is designed in collaboration with academic researchers drawing from empirical evidence about what works.


Since 2003, we have been implementing REACH, short for High School within REACH. This motivates students who are in 9th grade (the last year of middle school in Mexico) to enroll in high school. As we’ve grown and learned more about the students in Chiapas and their needs, we have changed our program to ensure the best results. To do this, we measure our programs though a Randomized Control Trial which helps us better understand our programs’ impact. Today, we provide students with a scholarship for every semester they stay in high school.

School Building

Since our start in 1998, we have built 181 safe and weather-proof spaces around the state of Chiapas. Each school building project is done in partnership with the local, municipal, and state governments. As the REACH scholarship program has increased high school enrollment, we have focused school building in villages where enrollment increases as a result of REACH’s impact.

COBACH Emprende

In order to help students earn the skills they need to succeed upon graduation and learn to create businesses, since 2018 we have been offering an entrepreneurship training program, Emprende. The first pilot of this entrepreneurial training started in collaboration with Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Lab (J-PAL), and the U.S.-Mexico Research Center from the University of California-San Diego. The Emprende program trains teachers to equip their students with technical and soft skills that will help them succeed whether they continue to study or enter the workforce.

Ford Driving Dreams

In 2019 Ford Motor Company Fund, the Ford Civic Committee and its Dealers in México and Fondo Unido- United Way México created an alliance to launch Ford Driving Dreams (FDD), a Ford Fund program designed , to empower youth to pursue their dreams of higher education. FDD has equipped more than 200,000 students across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Europe with tools to help fuel their academic and career journeys. FDD selected Escalera Foundation (NPO) as their local partner to implement this merit-based financial support program in education. 100 students from Oaxaca and Chiapas are benefiting from a quarterly financial support in education to keep up their academic performance throughout middle school. With this program, teenagers facing economic challenges to finish their education have a friendly hand to help them and their families overcome socio economic challenges. This initiative also seeks emotional support by engaging with student's parents through workshops.


We are proud to unlock economic opportunities for students in Chiapas with the support of our committed partners. Thanks to their ideas, insights, time and donations we can motivate indigenous students to succeed.