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Tickling Tongues and Tackling Numbers: Reflecting on a Year of English Empowerment

As we gear up for the commencement of another year of English programs in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the past year. We want to express our huge appreciation to the community of Santiago and our donors for their support, and to our amazing volunteers who enabled us to deliver our programs and make positive impacts.


A glance at our key achievements in 2023


Reach and number of schools involved


Spreading English like confetti, we dazzled the minds of 300 kids across 5 public schools! Grades 4, 5, and 6 were our fearless language adventurers, and together, we created a symphony of verbs, nouns, and a lot of ‘Aha!’ moments.


Benefited students


We’ve had a blast teaching English to almost 160 students at our Learning Center too. Across two semesters, we rolled out 10 English programs to kids and adults. And to keep things interesting, we sprinkled in some one-on-one conversation classes. Because, who says language learning can’t be a VIP experience?


We also teamed up with the crafty women of Cojolya in Santiago. From translating lessons on the art of weaving to orchestrating English activities, we were there.


Training of local teachers and their impact on the community


We tapped into our English-teaching super powers to help upskill community members, and voila! One has now secured a job as an English teacher in Santiago! We are very proud to have contributed to the empowerment of a Santiagüeña.


A big thank you to our Volunteers


A big shoutout to our volunteers! We had 21 awesome humans supporting our project last year – 6 of them brought the Santiago vibe, and the rest? Well, they joined the party from all corners of the globe! From Spain, the UK, Germany, Italy, the USA, Portugal, the Netherlands, to Australia—talk about a diverse and collaborative squad making things happen!


Check out our 2023 wrap-up video for a sneak peak of our volunteers in action in Santiago!

Educational programs and innovative methodologies implemented


Techniques and teaching methods used


Active learning strategies are the backbone of our methodology. Scaffolding, problem-solving activities, hands-on work, peer teaching… you name it! Teaching is a partnership, a dynamic two-way street, so not only do we share our “power” with our students, we also create scenarios where they can’t resist using their English.


We always kick off our lesson by having a lively discussion about what the students remember from our last session. We like to get them engaged and excited about the learning journey we’re on together. As we wrap things up, we sprinkle in a cheerful summary of the day’s discoveries. This way, we’re creating a chain of lessons that sparks their memory and keeps them eager for more.


We also want to make sure our students grasp the concepts without relying on Spanish. In fact, we don’t speak Spanish in class at all! We make use of your own resources, like mimicking, drawing, gesturing… The goal is for them to understand the concept first, and then the translation will naturally follow in their minds. We want to keep those brains flexible and agile! We also try to make ourselves understood by modulating our voice, using Latin words and our body language.


Looking to the future: our programs in 2024


Expanding our reach across public schools and the Learning Center


We’re riding a wave of enthusiasm because there’s an incoming tsunami of volunteers! With their help, we’re set to partner with six schools this year, where we will again be teaching English to kids in grades 4, 5 and 6!  The anticipation is building up, and on February 15th , the public schools will come alive with learning and excitement.


The Learning Center is clearly a hot spot for eager adult learners and our one-to-one lessons are always a sought-after gem, so we’ll continue to meet that demand. Our classes at the Learning Center will kick-off on 19 February and we are pumped to have new cohorts of kids and adults join our English programs.


Exploring collaborations and partnerships


We are eager to strengthen our connections within the community by seeking new collaboration opportunities and supporting local initiatives. On top of that, we’re also actively exploring partnership opportunities with educational institutions and beyond to boost our volunteer network and in turn broaden our impact.


If you would like to partner with us, or have ideas for collaboration don’t hesitate to contact us !


How you can participate: volunteering and support in 2024


Embarking on a volunteering journey with One, Two… Tree! is a wonderful choice, and we’re excited to welcome enthusiastic volunteer English teachers to join us in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala.


To kickstart your journey with us, reaching out is easy. You can express your interest by sending an email to our team in Guatemala , completing the volunteer contact form on our website, or connecting with us through Instagram.


Once we receive your inquiry, our team will promptly get in touch, providing you with all the details about our project. Our volunteer coordinator will arrange an interview, giving us the chance to get to know you better and address any queries you may have. Following the interview, we’ll guide you through the necessary steps to prepare for your trip, including the submission of required documentation such as a criminal record check, photo ID, and an insurance policy.


As your volunteering journey with us approaches, we’ll share a comprehensive introduction package a month before your arrival. This package includes valuable information on our work processes, tips for living in Santiago Atitlán, and training materials to help you prepare for your teaching role.


During your stay, you will be supported by our awesome coordinators and your fellow volunteers and no doubt, you will make some great friends within the community.


Can’t make it to Guatemala? Reach out to explore how your talents can be used remotely or head on over to our donations page to check out how you can contribute.


We look forward to connecting with you and sharing this meaningful experience!