|Philosophy and Objectives
of La Paz
Spanish School La Paz is a non-profit education center established
in 1994. The overall goals of the education center are to contribute
to long-term, progressive social change in Guatemala and the
world. We achieve this through educational work on both the
local and international level by participating in culturally
and environmentally sensitive, grass-roots community projects
in Guatemala and encourage our students to participate with
- Teach Spanish and Guatemalan culture to international
students, utilizing a dynamic and personal method of one
teacher to each student.
- Raise students' consciousness and awareness on Guatemalan
and global realities through a number of resources including;
1) resource library of books, magazines, videos, slide shows,
and solidarity and human rights reports; 2) educational
activities such as round table discussions, conferences,
and field trips; 3)Daily one on one interaction with our
conscientious teachers and staff.
- Provide a fair income for local teachers, families, and
other businesses of Xela.
- Invest all profits, beyond our modest salaries and operating
costs, into existing community projects or the initiation
of new projects. We have a special focus on educational
projects and support for women's groups. We believe that
a well-informed and conscious population and the full participation
of women are keys to long-term social change and improvement.
La Paz is also currently working with a reforestation project
located just outside of Xela. Furthermore, these projects
provide students with the opportunity to contribute as volunteers.
Unlike many projects and organizations, including some of
the other Spanish language schools here in Quetzaltenango,
we are a genuine non-profit center. We are not interested
in personal profits, nor attracting students or attention
through heartless projects that patronize the local population.
Of course, choosing where to invest our time and financial
contributions is not easy. We make these project decisions
collectively, with the full participation of the teachers
and all involved. Our first rule with respect to our community
support is not to do more harm than good. We try to support
projects which demonstrate respect for local, often indigenous
peoples, instill dignity, spur critical thinking, and support
independent organizing and long term stability.