Guatemala has a number of social issues from chronic malnutrition to widespread poverty.
Despite agriculture being the backbone of the country's economy, poverty is especially endemic in rural areas. Rural communities have traditionally been excluded from Guatemala's social and economic mainstream, meaning they suffer disproportionately high levels of poverty. This situation is exacerbated by political corruption, a lack of educational resources and the after-effects of a destructive 36-year civil war.
Helping Guatemalan communities was one of the main reasons for setting up our language school. We aim to give back to our teachers' communities through:
1) Working hands-on with local charities
2) Donating part of the income from our Spanish lessons to charitable projects
Our latest projects:
Working with local charity, Asociación Fatima
Having previously worked for 2 years with a non-governmental organisation, our co-founder, Rustom, came to realise that local charities are often overlooked for financial support.
As a result, we decided to focus our efforts on supporting a local charity, Asociación Fatima.
Working in the region of Quetzaltenango, the association provides crucial support to approximately 250 families: from providing medical services to distributing school equipment, food and shoes.
To date, we have:
- Worked closely with the charity to build their own website. This has allowed them to advertise for volunteers, process donations and grow organically.
- Provided funds to fix their roof meaning there is now a place to train women in sewing and selling their products. Read more about it here.
- Provided transportation of all foods, medicine and other donated goods from Guatemala City to the charity. This is a 5-hour journey and one of the charity's main costs.
Not-for-profit Group Spanish Conversation Classes
In addition to part of the proceeds from our online 1-to-1 Spanish classes, we also run group Spanish conversation classes where all the profits go to the charity Asociación Fatima. The group classes help in 2 ways:
1) Generate greater donation income for Asociación Fatima, which helps vulnerable families in Guatemala.
2) Brings awareness of Guatemala's social issues, to people in the UK.
The Spanish classes are held every Tuesday, 7-8pm at Hotel Strand Continental. Read here for more details!
Writing Competition for Guatemalan school children
You can get involved and sign up here!
We are working closely with 2 schools in Guatemala: Caserío Chanshenel and Las Barrancas to foster creative writing talent amongst their students. It's also an opportunity for the schools to receive much needed equipment since we donate income from our lessons to the winning school. Here's how it works!:
Every month we get the schools to send us creative writing entries written by their students.
The schools must also choose a piece of equipment or project they need funding for.
Our teachers pick the 5 best entries.
We then ask you (yes, YOU!) to choose the final winner.
The winning student receives a certificate and a small presentation, and we donate funds to the winning school, which covers 20% of the cost of their chosen piece of equipment.
The competition is repeated every month so each school has a chance of building up it's funds to buy the piece of equipment, and more students get a chance to participate.
How you can get involved:
Sign up here to be sent the 5 semi-finalist pieces every month. You can vote for the winning piece! Since the entries are written by Guatemalan school children, they will be in Spanish allowing you to practice your Spanish reading skills!
- You do not need to be one of our current students to get involved.
- We welcome all levels of Spanish, whether you are a complete beginner, or advanced, everyone can sign up!
Winning students' entries
How you can help
We want to get more actively involved with Asociación Fatima helping it to gain greater exposure and strengthen as an organisation. We also aim to help other charities tackling important social issues in Guatemala. Our support is only possible through the lessons you buy from us, and you can track how you are helping from the posts we upload on our website and social media pages.