Who is Cojolyá and what is their impact?
Cojolyá is a non-profit organisation in Santiago Atitlán that began during the Civil War in 1983. It has developed into an association of artisans who create Fair Trade products for sale locally and internationally. Cojolyá has a holistic approach that, includes providing educational programs for the children of the community, as well as personal and professional development for the artisans.
Cojolyá programs currently support ten children and adolescents by providing school supplies and scholarships. Lately, because of the restrictions in public schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic, assistance programs have provided the students with a tutor in addition to regular educational supports.
Cojolyá is having a direct impact on the lives of the artisans, their families and the general community of Santiago, and it is also supporting Fair Trade efforts.
How does our partnership work?
One, Two…Tree! has partnered with Cojolyá to ensure that both organizations are able to have double the impact in Santiago.
Beginning last year, One, Two… Tree! teamed up with Cojolyá to provide students with English lessons. It was immediately apparent that the collaboration was having a positive impact. The in-person classes were a success and the students enjoyed them. Now, with our very own Learning Center, the students will be able to attend lessons and take advantage of more opportunities to learn and practice English.
Similarly, Don Antonio, Cojolyá’s artisan founder, and Carina, the administrator, both attend adult classes at the center as well.
This year, One, Two… Tree! is collaborating on various activities with the students of Cojolyá every month, which provides them with different ways to learn and practice English that are outside the traditional methods of education. For example, every month One, Two… Tree! hosts a cultural celebration in English featuring a different theme each time so that the students can learn new vocabulary in a fun and unique way.
One of the volunteers, Kelly from Greece, was also a part-time volunteer with Cojolyá when she was here earlier this year. Some of our other volunteers have collaborated with Cojolyá’s partner artisans by taking weaving classes and buying Cololyá’s products, since Cojolyá is a weaving association part of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization). Doña María, one of the partner artisans, really enjoyed the visit from the One, Two… Tree! volunteers, so she dressed them all in traditional clothes!
What is your role as an English teacher volunteer?
Apart from in-person teaching and activities in the classroom, it is exciting to watch volunteers get creative and find new ways to present English materials to the students.
For example, this year, volunteers Elinor from Belgium, Alizée from France, Kelly from Greece, Carmela from Spain, and Gersom from Guatemala have all been helping us plan the cultural activities and curriculum for the students. Through the use of fun activities, these volunteers ensure that each student receives equal amounts of attention and opportunities to practice their English. Carmela is also a part-time volunteer math tutor with Cojolyá.
One, Two… Tree! is proud to be partnering with Cojolyá to provide students with the opportunity to learn English to increase the overall impact of education and development in Santiago Atitlán.
Volunteer with us this year!
One, Two… Tree! is seeking more English teacher volunteers to come to Santiago, Guatemala to help expand the programs and reach of the organisation, and boost impact on the community.
If you would like to learn more about volunteering with One, Two… Tree! and Cojolyá, please send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org