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Escuela de Español  
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 us.

Specific Objectives:
  • 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.