Who Is Cojolyá and What Is Their Impact?
Cojolyá is a nonprofit organization in Santiago Atitlán that began during the Civil War in 1983. They have developed into an association of artisans who create Fair Trade products for sale locally and internationally. They have a holistic approach, which includes providing educational programs for the children of the community, as well as personal and professional development for the artisans.
Cojolyá is currently supporting 10 children and adolescents through their programs by providing them with school supplies and scholarships. Lately, the children have had a tutor because of the restrictions in public schools due to the pandemic, so their assistance also covers the tutors’ fees.
Not only is Cojolyá having a direct impact on the lives of the artisans, their families and the general community of Santiago, but they are contributing to the world of Fair Trade as well.
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.
Starting last year, we teamed up with them to provide their students with English lessons. Through our first program with them, we could see the positive impact that in person classes were having on the students. Our English teacher volunteers have been going to Cojolyá to teach English classes as part of their curriculum, and now, with our very own Learning Center, the students will be able to join our lessons as well for more opportunities to practice and learn English.
Similarly, Don Antonio, Cojolyá’s artisan founder, and Carina, their administrator both attend our adult class at the center as well.
This year, we are collaborating on various activities with the students of Cojolyá every month, which provides them with different ways to practice and learn English that are outside the traditional methods of education. For example, every month we host a cultural celebration in English where we choose a different theme each time so that the students can learn new vocabulary in a fun and unique way.
One of our 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 their weaving classes and buying their products, since Cojolyá is a weaving association part of the World Fair Trade Organization. Doña María, one of the partner artisans, really enjoyed the visit from our volunteers, so she dressed them all in traditional clothes!
What Is Your Role As An English Teacher Volunteer?
Apart from physically teaching the children in the classroom and participating in activities, we love when our volunteers get creative and help us find new ways to present English materials to our students.
For example, this year, our 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. They ensure that each student receives equal amounts of attention and opportunities to practice their English through fun activities. Carmela, one of our volunteers, is also a part-time volunteer with Cojolyá as a math tutor for their students.
We are proud to be partnering with Cojolyá to provide their students with the opportunity to learn English to increase the overall impact of education and development in Santiago Atitlán.
Volunteer With Us This Year!
We are seeking more English teacher volunteers to come to Santiago, Guatemala to help us expand our programs, reach, and impact on the community.
If you would like to learn more about volunteering with us and Cojolyá, please send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org