How Our Partnership with Cojolyá Empowers Our Community

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.

 

nglish Teacher Volunteers in Santiago

nglish Teacher Volunteers in Santiago

 

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. 

 

Learning English in Guatemala

Learning English in Guatemala

 

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! 

 

English Teachers in Guatemala

English Teachers in Guatemala

 

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. 

 

Teach English in Guatemala

Teach English in Guatemala

 

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: guatemala@onetwo-tree.com  

 

Nonprofit partnership in Guatemala

Nonprofit partnership in Guatemala

Our Partnership with Puerta Abierta to Increase Our Impact in Santiago

 

Who is Puerta Abierta? 

Puerta Abierta is another non-profit in Santiago Atitlán focused on education and development of the community.

 

They have opened the first creative school in the area that focuses on education through innovative programming for students at the kindergarten level through to grade six. They also have a community library that is open to other schools and programs to use as a resource to support their curriculums. 

 

School in Santiago, Guatemala

School in Santiago, Guatemala

 

What Does Our Partnership Look Like?

At the beginning of this year, we began our partnership with Puerta Abierta in order to bring more programming, resources, and development to Santiago. 

 

We are providing English lessons to all students at Puerta Abierta, and providing bilingual materials to support their learning as well. Our English teacher volunteers are sharing their time with Puerta Abierta to ensure that these English classes are being delivered to their students on a regular basis. 

 

In exchange, Puerta Abierta has provided us with books and materials to help our teachers with lesson planning and developing activities for our Learning Center so that they are well prepared and equipped, especially since some of our volunteers do not have an education background. 

 

Amanda, the founder of Puerta Abierta, has also prepared a workshop as a resource for our teachers to learn techniques when working with younger students. We are so thankful for the opportunity to learn from their work in alternative education in Santiago. 

 

English Teacher Volunteer in Guatemala

English Teacher Volunteer in Guatemala

 

Our Impact

This partnership means that both organizations can have a stronger impact. Amanda Flyer, the founder of Puerta Abierta talks about our impact and work together:  

 

«At the beginning of 2022, we were overjoyed to learn that One Two…Tree! would be partnering with the Puerta Abierta Learning Center to offer English classes to our students. 

 

Our collaboration with One Two…Tree! goes much further than teaching English. My favorite moments of observation have been the mutual exchanges of inquiry and curiosity passed between volunteers, teachers, and students regarding culture, lifestyles, and countries of origin.  We have been fortunate to receive volunteers from Greece, Spain, Belgium, France, and different areas of Guatemala in just a short span of time.

 

One Two…Tree! volunteers have also been collaborating with ongoing cultural exchanges that the Puerta Abierta has established with schools in the United States. I have found great joy in working with Carmela on our preschool exchange with a school based in Boston, MA.  I’m grateful for Carmela’s extra set of hands and creative outlook which have enhanced our interaction with young children in Guatemala and the USA.» 

 

Puerta Abierta Partnership

Puerta Abierta Partnership

 

Joining Forces 

Our partnership is beneficial for both nonprofits to do their work efficiently and effectively. Juanita Chiviliú, the Director of Puerta Abierta explains what this partnership means for her work. 

 

«As the director of an unconventional school in rural Guatemala, finding creative, dynamic, and empathetic English teachers proves to be a great challenge. So having the link this year with One Two…Tree! has been a great opportunity for our center to continue to provide an education full of love, joy, and celebration of cultures with our students.

 

Personally, I love to see the friendship that is cultivated between the volunteers and the students and teachers during the English classes. Teachers and children always want more, which means that they enjoy it and want to learn, so both institutions are achieving our goals.”

 

English Teacher Volunteer in Santiago

 

Your Role as a Volunteer

Mary Chiviliu Ajtujal, a sixth-grade teacher with Puerta Abierta talks about the role of One Two Tree…! volunteers within this partnership. 

 

«It has been nice to have the teachers of One Two Tree…! in the class during these months. For the students, it has been very positive to see different people and learn about other cultures while learning another language. It has helped them a lot since sometimes it is difficult to meet and talk with new people. 

 

The teachers have made it possible to resume learning the English language. It has been difficult lately with the hybrid education modality (online and in person, due to the pandemic) to maintain continuous learning of this language, but the teachers have been very open to accommodate the changes that this modality represents. All the teachers are very grateful for the openness, passion, and creativity that they bring to our center in this way and in other ways.»

 

We are so grateful for and excited about this partnership with Puerta Abierta and all of the possibilities it brings to the students and the community of Santiago Atitlán. 

 

If you would like to learn more about volunteering with us and Puerta Abierta, please send us an email to: guatemala@onetwo-tree.com  

 

 

Community development in Santiago Atitlan

Community development in Santiago Atitlan

Informative Interview With Our Amazing English Volunteer: Kelly!

In this #InterviewSeries post, we interview Kelly, a volunteer from Greece who joined us in January. She shares all of the details about her time and experience as an English Teacher Volunteer with One Two… Tree! in Guatemala. Let’s get started!

 

Question (One Two… Tree!): Hi Kelly! Thank you for joining us for this interview.

Answer (Kelly): Hello! Thank you for inviting me to share my experience!

 

QCould you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background?

 

A: For as long as I can remember I have loved traveling, meeting people, and being a (non-formal) teacher :). I am a youth worker back in Greece and manage many global education projects. So, I thought, “what could be better than some action in the field with One, Two…Tree?”

 

English Teacher Volunteer in Guatemala

English Teacher Volunteer in Guatemala

 

Q: Could you provide some details about when and where you volunteered with us, and for how long?

 

A: I volunteered with One, Two…Tree! in rural Guatemala (I recommend always going to rural areas for such projects), in the village Santiago Atitlan on the Lake. I was there for 1 month; the first month of 2022 (wish it could have been for longer) for the best start to the year!

 

QCould you tell us a bit about what your daily life was like as an English volunteer?

 

A: My daily life was more than exciting. You are always doing so many different things with different people and with so many stimuli that you take with you back home. You are busy with the classes in the mornings, then have lunch with your host family or explore the colorful market and prepare your own food. Then, you prepare for class materials, grade, complete worksheets, participate in team meetings – you know… the teacher’s life!

 

Team activities on the weekends range from day trips around the lake to hiking and Mayan ceremonies, interactions with the locals- students or others – exploring the rich culture of Guatemala, and enjoying the warm hearts of the people. The list is as endless as your imagination!

 

English Classes in Santiago Atitlan

English Classes in Santiago Atitlan

 

QWhere did you stay in Santiago, Guatemala?

 

A: I stayed with a lovely local family, in a private room with a nice balance of autonomy and blending at the same time. Maritza, the host mom, was cooking for me and helped me practice Spanish in the most efficient way. Pedro, the host dad, was caring and also explained a lot about the institutions and situation in Guatemala. Azul, the sweet girl, was one of my students and it was amazing to see her at home and at school. The stay was very comfortable and very interactive. I really miss them!

 

Q: Did you feel that your volunteering work had an impact on the community?

 

A: Absolutely, from day 1. The engagement with the students in the English classes and beyond is so direct, and much needed. The classes are helping them to improve their lives, increase their employability and have a more dignified future. It is much more than that though, as it is a very enriching intercultural engagement, a beneficial way for both sides (volunteer and community) to gain more self-confidence, more ideas, self-esteem, deep connections, and life satisfaction.

 

One Two Tree Volunteering

One Two Tree Volunteering

 

Q: Did you have an opportunity to learn any Spanish?

 

A: ¡Absolutely! This was one of the highlights of the experience. Staying together with a family is the best way to learn the basics and beyond and become proud of it. Knocking down the language barrier also opens up the heart and makes the connections and your impact even deeper. You can also have a language exchange with your new Guatemalteco friends to boost your language skills!

 

QWhat is something you wish you knew before coming to Guatemala to volunteer?

 

A: I wish I knew how much you can do, give and learn – I would have scheduled to stay longer!

 

QWhat is the best memory you have from your experience?

 

A: It is impossible to pick just one, I have so many precious moments, connections, activities, smiles, and hugs. I think if I had to choose, it would be the first opening day of the One, Two…Tree! learning center that took place in February, thanks to the amazing teamwork by the volunteers. The reward of the emotions felt when the kids, teens, and adults were coming to learn English cannot be put into words.

 

Teaching English to Children in Guatemala

Teaching English to Children in Guatemala

 

Q: Do you have any advice for future volunteers who want to start this adventure?

 

 

A: Come live this life-changing experience, serve a community really in need, and receive more than you will give! Come with an open mind and an open heart leaving every fear from the Western world behind!

 

One, Two…Tree!: Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, Kelly!

Kelly: You’re welcome!

 

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering in Guatemala this year, please contact us at: guatemala@onetwo-tree.com

 

One Two Tree English Teacher Volunteer

One Two Tree English Teacher Volunteer

¡Nuestro primer Centro de Aprendizaje de Inglés en Santiago, Guatemala!

¡Nuestro Centro de Aprendizaje ofrece más clases de inglés a un mayor número de estudiantes!

A principios de febrero, se abrieron las puertas de nuestro nuevo Centro de Aprendizaje en Santiago, Atitlán. Nuestro trabajo se vio afectado por la pandemia debido a los constantes cambios en las normas y restricciones de las clases en las escuelas, debido a esto ¡decidimos abrir nuestro propio centro con el fin de llevar más clases de inglés a un mayor número de estudiantes! Seguiremos llevando a nuestros profesores de inglés y el plan de estudios a las escuelas, ofreciendo de forma adicional estas clases a la comunidad.

 

English Teacher Volunteers at our Learning Center

Profesores de inglés voluntarios en nuestro Centro de Aprendizaje

 

Encontramos el espacio en un lugar céntrico, cerca de las escuelas con las que trabajamos. Con la ayuda de los voluntarios que tenemos actualmente, pintamos el edificio y lo limpiamos para abrir nuestras puertas rápidamente debido a que estábamos recibiendo muchas solicitudes de familias de la comunidad. Ya hemos empezado a impartir nuestro programa de inglés a niños y adultos en dicho lugar.

 

Volunteers Painting Our Learning Center

Voluntarios pintando nuestro Centro de Aprendizaje

 

¿Cómo funciona el Centro de Aprendizaje de Inglés?

El Centro de Aprendizaje está abierto todos los días y las clases están disponibles para los estudiantes durante las horas extraescolares. Las clases para niños están disponibles entre las 4:00 y las 5:00 p.m. y los adolescentes y adultos pueden asistir a clases entre las 6:00 y las 7:00 p.m. Hay tres aulas en el establecimiento, lo que significa que varios grupos pueden estudiar simultáneamente. Actualmente tenemos dos clases para cada grupo de edad; una es para estudiantes de nivel principiante, y la otra es para niveles más avanzados. 

 

English Classes in our Learning Center

Clases de inglés en nuestro Centro de Aprendizaje

 

Estamos utilizando el mismo programa de estudios que hemos estado trabajando en las escuelas. Este plan de estudios se centra en introducir el inglés a nuestros estudiantes con especial foco en desarrollar la compresión y comunicación oral así como la adquisión de vocabulario básico para proporcionar unas bases sobre las que seguir aprendiendo inglés. Incluimos fichas, actividades, juegos y pruebas cortas. Parte del material, como los libros, que utilizamos en el Centro de Aprendizaje lo proporciona Puerta Abierta, una ONG con la que nos aliamos aquí en Santiago. Dicho material contribuye a enriquecer nuestras clases de inglés y a mejorar la experiencia de los alumnos.

 

¿Qué implica esto para nuestros profesores de inglés voluntarios? 

Las voluntarias y voluntarios de One, Two…Tree! continuarán trabajando con nosotros durante aproximadamente 16 horas a la semana, sin embargo, estas horas se dividirán entre el trabajo en las clases de las escuelas públicas y la enseñanza en el Centro de Aprendizaje. El horario variará en función de las restricciones gubernamentales vigentes para las escuelas, así como de la demanda de clases en el Centro de Aprendizaje.

 

English Teacher Volunteers in Santiago

Profesores de inglés voluntarios en Santiago

 

El Centro de Aprendizaje proporcionará a nuestros profesores de inglés voluntarios una sede a la cuál podrán contribuir y también desarrollar. Hasta ahora, ellos han sido los que nos han ayudado a acondicionar el espacio y a garantizar que las aulas estén optimizadas para el aprendizaje de todos los niveles. 

 

El lugar estará disponible para la comunidad 

Nuestro Centro de Aprendizaje también estará abierto a otros programas y organizaciones locales. La intención del Centro de Aprendizaje es crear un espacio seguro para todas las personas en la comunidad donde puedan aprender. Por ejemplo, el Instituto Tzanjuyú, la escuela secundaria con la que nos asociamos, nos ha prestado sillas, mesas y pizarras, y a cambio utilizarán el espacio para albergar un club de ajedrez y clases de guitarra para sus alumnos y para cualquiera que quiera unirse.

El Centro de Aprendizaje también servirá como punto de reciclaje para la comunidad. Nuestros aliados de Amigos del Lago vendrán todos los lunes a recoger los residuos. Actualmente, la comunidad tira todo junto a la basura, así que no sólo estamos proporcionando un espacio para que el reciclaje sea fácilmente dejado y recogido, sino que también estamos educando sobre la importancia del reciclaje y sobre los artículos que pueden ser reciclados en nuestro programa. 

 

Adult English Classes in Santiago Atitlan

Clases de inglés para adultos en Santiago Atitlán

 

Nos emociona continuar mejorando nuestro Centro de Aprendizaje para garantizar que sea un espacio abierto en el que toda la comunidad se reúna y aprenda. 

 

Si quieres conocer más sobre el voluntariado en Guatemala este año, escríbenos a nuestro correo: guatemala@onetwo-tree.com 

Entrevista informativa con uno de nuestros voluntarios: ¡Dani!

 

En esta publicación de nuestra #SerieEntrevistados, entrevistamos a Dani, un voluntario que se incorporó a nuestro equipo el año pasado. Él nos comparte todos los detalles sobre su tiempo y experiencia en Guatemala como profesor de inglés voluntario en One, Two… Tree!

 

Pregunta (One Two… Tree!): ¡Hola Dani! Gracias por acompañarnos en esta entrevista.

Respuesta (Dani): Gracias a ustedes por haberme invitado.

 

P: ¿Podrías presentarte y hablarnos un poco de tu trayectoria? 

R: Soy Dani Thomas y vivo en Pontypridd, en Gales. Soy programador informático desde hace muchos años y me apasionan la música y la política. También tengo un gran interés por los temas latinoamericanos y lo relacionado con el idioma español. Uno de mis sueños es pasar un tiempo en América Central o del Sur, quizás haciendo algún tipo de voluntariado.

 

P: ¡Vaya, parece que has hecho realidad ese sueño! ¿Podrías darnos algunos detalles sobre cuándo y dónde fuiste voluntario con nosotros, y durante cuánto tiempo? 

R: Empecé a colaborar como voluntario con One, Two…Tree! Guatemala en agosto de 2021. Fue la primera oportunidad que tuve en un tiempo, ya que los viajes al extranjero estaban prohibidos por la pandemia. Me quedé tres meses y estuve viviendo en Santiago Atitlán.

 

P: ¿Podrías contarnos un poco sobre cómo era tu vida cotidiana como voluntario?

R: Como la pandemia seguía teniendo repercusiones, no pudimos impartir en las escuelas todas las clases que se habían previsto en un principio. Se limitó a explicar y revisar las tareas y las clases se dividieron para mantener el número de alumnos. Sin embargo, iniciamos una clase para adultos que se impartía dos veces por semana y que incluía a varios trabajadores de la cooperativa local de café. Luego tuvimos que impartirlas virtualmente porque las normas de COVID cambiaron. También colaboramos con Amigos del Lago de Atitlán ayudando en sus proyectos de reciclaje.

 

 

Clase de inglés en Santiago, Guatemala

Clase de inglés en Santiago, Guatemala

 

P: ¿Podrías contarnos un poco sobre cómo era tu vida cotidiana como voluntario?

R: Como la pandemia seguía teniendo repercusiones, no pudimos impartir en las escuelas todas las clases que se habían previsto en un principio. Se limitó a explicar y revisar las tareas y las clases se dividieron para mantener el número de alumnos. Sin embargo, iniciamos una clase para adultos que se impartía dos veces por semana y que incluía a varios trabajadores de la cooperativa local de café. Luego tuvimos que impartirlas virtualmente porque las normas de COVID cambiaron. También colaboramos con Amigos del Lago de Atitlán ayudando en sus proyectos de reciclaje.

 

Voluntarios en el Lago de Atitlán, Guatemala

Voluntarios en el Lago de Atitlán, Guatemala

 

P: ¡Parece que pudieron adaptarse perfectamente! ¿Dónde te hospedaste en Santiago, Guatemala?  

R: Me hospedé en la casa de la Señora Argentina. Estuvo genial, ya que siempre fue muy servicial y atenta y conoce prácticamente a todos en Santiago.

*Argentina es una de las anfitrionas con las que colabora One, Two…Tree! Es una profesora jubilada de la ciudad de Guatemala, muy respetada y apreciada por la comunidad gracias a su trabajo en proyectos locales.  

 

P: ¿Crees que tu trabajo como voluntario ha tenido algún impacto en la comunidad?

R: Sí. A pesar de las dificultades ocasionadas por la pandemia, creo que tanto los niños como los adultos hicieron verdaderos progresos durante el tiempo que estuve allí.

 

Voluntarios en Guatemala

Voluntarios en Guatemala

 

P: ¿Tuviste la oportunidad de aprender algo de español? 

R: Aunque ya hablaba con bastante fluidez el español, fue estupendo tener la oportunidad de utilizar el idioma a diario. Sin embargo, como el tz’utujil es el idioma principal que se habla en la zona, decidí empezar a tomar clases en esa lengua, lo que me pareció muy interesante y enriquecedor y me permitió conocer la cultura maya. Al volver a casa, escribí una canción sobre Santiago en tz’utujil que menciona varios lugares y personas que conocí allí. La puedes ver aquí.

 

Dani, profesor de inglés voluntario en Guatemala

Dani, profesor de inglés voluntario en Guatemala

 

P: ¡Qué increíble! ¡Qué canción tan bonita Dani! Gracias por compartirla.  ¿Qué es lo que te hubiera gustado saber antes de venir a Guatemala como voluntario? 

R: ¡Nada inicia a la hora prevista!

 

P: ¿Cuál es el mejor recuerdo que tienes de esta experiencia?

R: Es difícil pensar en uno en particular. Disfruté mucho preparando las clases para adultos y pude mencionar algunos mitos y leyendas antiguos de Gales como parte de la explicación. Fue increíble explorar los distintos pueblos y aldeas que rodean el lago, cada uno con una personalidad y carácter diferentes. Visitar las ruinas de la capital prehispánica tz’utujil, Chuitinamit. También la amistad y el compañerismo con los demás voluntarios.

 

Profesores de inglés voluntarios en Guatemala

Profesores de inglés voluntarios en Guatemala

 

P: ¿Tienes algún consejo para los futuros voluntarios que quieran unirse a esta aventura?R: Yo diría que vale la pena hacerlo. Sin duda alguna, hazlo.

 

One, Two…Tree!: ¡Muchas gracias por compartir tu experiencia con nosotros, Dani!

Dani: ¡Ha sido un gusto!

 

Si quieres conocer más sobre el voluntariado en Guatemala este año, escríbenos a nuestro correo: guatemala@onetwo-tree.com 

 

¿Cómo enseñaremos inglés en Guatemala en el 2022?

Nuestro propósito en el 2022 es impartir más clases de inglés en Guatemala

 

English teacher volunteer in classroom with children in Guatemala

Pauline, profesora de inglés voluntaria en un aula con niños en Guatemala.

 

Tal vez te preguntes cómo serán nuestros programas y nuestra forma de enseñar inglés en Guatemala durante el 2022, ya que iniciamos un nuevo año y la pandemia aún sigue presente. 

 

Nuestro objetivo sigue siendo el mismo: incorporar las clases de inglés en las escuelas públicas de Santiago Atitlán, una de las comunidades indígenas mayas de los alrededores del lago Atitlán, para que los niños y adolescentes tengan acceso al inglés como herramienta para su futuro.

 

Actualmente, continuamos colaborando con escuelas de primaria en Santiago, también estamos iniciando a trabajar en nuestra primera escuela secundaria, donde en 2022 nuestros voluntarios enseñarán inglés a adolescentes de diferentes edades. A través de esto, estamos preparando a los alumnos para las clases de inglés que recibirán en el colegio en los años siguientes. También podrán utilizar estos conocimientos en su futura vida profesional, ya que el inglés cada vez toma más fuerza en el mundo laboral en Centroamérica.

¿Cómo afecta la pandemia a nuestros profesores voluntarios?

 

English lessons in Santiago Atitlan

Clases de inglés en Santiago Atitlán

La pandemia impactó mucho nuestro trabajo al permanecer las escuelas cerradas, sin embargo pudimos reactivar nuestros programas en 2021. Estamos buscando expandir nuestra labor nuevamente para maximizar nuestro impacto en Centroamérica lo antes posible.

Por ahora, nuestro horario de enseñanza en las escuelas públicas está sujeto a las decisiones de las autoridades locales en relación con las restricciones y las medidas de seguridad por COVID. Debido a esto, tenemos oportunidades disponibles a tiempo parcial, lo que te da a ti, el voluntario o voluntaria, más flexibilidad para trabajar en proyectos personales o a tiempo parcial. También disponemos de oportunidades a tiempo completo para aquellos que quieran sumergirse por entero en nuestro proyecto y así ayudar cuando las restricciones lo permitan.

Expande tu experiencia de voluntariado en Guatemala

 

Volunteers participating in local projects in Santiago, Guatemala

Voluntarios participando en proyectos locales en Santiago, Guatemala

 

A pesar de que el tiempo de clase en las escuelas puede estar restringido debido a los cambios en los protocolos de seguridad, también enseñamos inglés a adultos y adolescentes a través de colaboraciones con proyectos locales, y animamos a los voluntarios a participar en actividades para el fortalecimiento de la comunidad de otras maneras.

Hay múltiples posibilidades de ayudar a la comunidad a crecer y a la vez sumergirse en la cultura local participando en proyectos locales, como cuidando el medio ambiente, ayudando en una granja comunitaria, en una cooperativa de café o en una cooperativa de artesanos.

Colaboramos con Cojolyá, una cooperativa de artesanas; CoAtitlán, una cooperativa de café; Amigos del Lago, un programa de preservación del medio ambiente; y ADECCAP, un vivero comunitario local que cuenta con un programa de gestión de residuos orgánicos.

 

En 2022, hazte voluntario como profesor de inglés con One, Two…Tree!

 

La situación en Guatemala cambia constantemente, pero hay muchas oportunidades para que se nos unan voluntarias y voluntarios en 2022. 

En las comunidades en las que trabajamos continúa habiendo una gran cantidad de proyectos con los que colaborar y tu experiencia de voluntariado con nosotros no se desperdiciará. Ya sea enseñando en las aulas o ayudando en los proyectos locales, nos comprometemos con el desarrollo de Santiago Atitlán. 

Si quieres conocer más sobre el voluntariado en Guatemala este año, escríbenos a nuestro correo: guatemala@onetwo-tree.com

 

Volunteers in Guatemala

Voluntarios en Guatemala

#Interview Series: Teacher Totó

 

Welcome Everyone to the first of our #InterviewSeries. In this new section, you will get to know Former Volunteers, their stories, and past experience in One, Two… Tree! and take inspiration for your Future Volunteer Experience, when hopefully things will get back to normal. Enjoy!

 

This time we get to know Totó, a former Volunteer-Coordinator who has volunteered with One, Two ..Tree! for more than a year and who is currently working.

 

First, thank you very much for making this interview possible! As a fresh start, I would like to ask you a bit more about your background.

I am from Spain, from Vigo. I am Thirty-four and I was Thirty-two when I started working with One, Two… Tree! I’ve studied Journalism and worked in Marketing for many years. Then, back in 2018 I decided to quit that and went to Cambodia to volunteer as well. When I was there, I kind of knew about One, Two … Tree!, and Pedro; he told me that they were going to open a new project in Mexico. He already knew I wanted to volunteer with One, Two .. Tree and told me that it would have been great if I wanted to start a new project and collaborate with them. So, I decided to leave and start over again, because I didn’t like my job in Marketing, so I went to Zinacantán.

 

That’s very cool! And how long did you volunteer?

I was two weeks in Guatemala, in Santiago with Gergana and then I was for around a year with One, Two… Tree!

 

The project actually started in Nicaragua, which was the first project, and then it was April 2018 when a revolution started against the Government, and at that point, we were kindly asked to leave. Basically, right now Guatemala is the biggest one and Mexico is restarting again.

 

What was your daily life as a volunteer?

School starts at Nine or Ten, until Three o’clock. Each volunteer has one or two grades that they teach. They go to the school for three hours and then go to another school, which is a boarding school but not the kind of boarding school we are used to. These are proper schools made for kids from families who have poor resources, therefore they pay almost nothing and had numerous kids from 6 to 12/13 who live in a school by themselves. They have dorms, make their beds, etc.

 

And we would teach them another couple of hours and that is basically the beginning. Then we decided those kids from the boarding schools needed more support so we decided to go every afternoon. But it wasn’t always about English classes, it was more about being with them, playing some games, sometimes. We wanted to make those kids loved. It is hard to say but sometimes kids just need a hug and just need to know that they can be loved. Therefore, sometimes, we just had fun with them and that was the nicest thing we did during the second part of the year. In the end, we were also a big group of volunteers, around eight.

 

What I used to say to the volunteers was to try to take your mind out of everything you know and just enjoy it. If you want to do “this” with the kids, just do it. Just be respectful and kids are going to love it!

 

That’s also very rewarding from the human aspect.

I know that for me the important part was to enjoy what I was doing. If they liked an activity, I would repeat it until they stopped liking it.

 

Which was the best memory that you bring with you?

Well, there are many. But I guess at the end of the year when we were going to play with the kids in the afternoon, we had very close bonds with them and by the end of the term, we ended up painting the wall with the One, Two Tree Logo. And also, on that wall, we painted six trees. Those were really good days! But I might say that the best memory I had was during the last days when I had to leave, I was really sad to finish. Because, you know, when you start to connect, and all the volunteers are cool with each other. We all had good ideas. So yes, the last couple of weeks were the best, and also the summer camp that we made which was a lot of work, 4 weeks and 60 kids and our duty on the school. Everything went very well and the kids enjoyed it a lot!

 

Would you say your contribution had a social impact on the community?

Well, I believe the kids understood the meaning of learning English. For the development of the community and learned how to interact and bond with people from Abroad. “To break the walls”: that was one of the most relevant things.

 

I think the biggest impact was the kids learning and being able to make such connections which is really cool. They still don’t realize how important it is for their lives, to know that people from abroad don’t’ come to take advantage of them.

 

How is the Covid-19 impacting the Project at the moment?

I can speak for the Mexican Project. Schools are still closed, so even if we had volunteers, they would not be able to do anything. So I guess that is one thing that affects us, because they do not have this ‘continuous’ of volunteers. We really hope to restore the project as soon as there will be the safety conditions to do it!

 

As the last thing, what would you recommend to Future Volunteers who are willing to start this new Adventure?

Do it! Don’t think about it Twice. You won’r regret it. Just Enjoy the Experience! Time literally flies, so try to get the most of it from the very beginning. Especially if you go there for a month. It is really something you will remember and it is one of the best «job» to do.

 

It is always inspiring to listen to past Volunteers’ Experiences. Totó has certainly made a life experience that will always remember. And with him, also all the kids he had the chance to teach to. We sincerely hope to restore the projects as soon as the Health-Emergency will be over.

 

Thanks again to Totó for his time and we Wish the best of luck to him with his new Projects and Work in Central America!