Our History

The Hermandad Educativa is a sisterhood of two nonprofit language schools in Quetzaltenango (known locally as Xela) and Nuevo San José, Guatemala. The oldest school, El Proyecto Lingüistico Quetzalteco de Español, was established in 1988. La Escuela de la Montaña followed in 1997. The schools offer affordable, quality Spanish language instruction to foreign visitors while generating decent-paying jobs and income to support projects that benefit the people of Guatemala.

The Proyecto Lingüistico Quetzalteco de Español (PLQE) was founded in 1988 in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala by a collective of local Spanish teachers. Their goal was to establish a school that could effectively teach non-native speakers how to read, write and speak the Spanish language while providing support for organizations working to improve the human rights situation in Guatemala. In addition, a strong emphasis was placed on education about the social and political realities of Guatemala and of Central America in general.

The inspiration for the establishment of the PLQE came from the kidnapping and killing of two student activists, René Leiva Cayax and Danilo Alvarado in 1987.


The Story of René and Danilo

René and Danilo dreamed of a country where all children would have the opportunity to play, grow up healthy, study, and laugh; a country where all people would have the opportunity to work, to have a house, and to live a dignified life. Their clarity of thought led them to openly identify with the struggle of the Guatemalan people for liberty and justice against the great inequalities and injustices that exist in this country. For this reason the security forces captured René and Danilo, tortured them and killed them.

As a result of international pressure, the Guatemalan government was forced to investigate this political crime. The police chief of the Department of Quetzaltenango and five police officers were arrested and sentenced to thirty years in prison. For the first time in the sad history of this country, members of the government's security forces were convicted of a political crime.

Despite a great deal of evidence against the six police officers, however, they were released two years later for the supposed lack of evidence. A thorough investigation to identify and capture the intellectual authors of the crime was never conducted. René and Danilo are part of a generation of students who endured a brutal struggle for freedom and justice in Guatemala.

In 1988 Guatemala was still a country at war, racking up a huge number of human rights violations and creating fear among the populace owing to the violent reprisals and threats made against those who struggled for a more equal society (a peace agreement was signed between the government and the guerrilla forces in December, 1996). The collective and staff of PLQE dedicated themselves to educating their students, who come from all over the world, about the political situation in their country. Profits from the school have supported a number of human rights organizations, projects, and rural communities struggling to improve their situation and improve the lives of poor Guatemalans.

 

Next door to PLQ we have the Luis Cardoza y Aragon Popular Center.
This center provides classes in art, music, computer programs and English to children of Quetzaltenango...
Proyecto Reforestación de Cantel
Many hands have left a caring imprint on that small piece of land near Cantel, and already the effects are already evident...
 
 
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