Mayan institution Ochoch Hik´eek is an educational institution aiming to contribute towards the formation of the future leaders who will work looking for the solutions to community problems, appreciate the human rights of Mayan land, in the framework of the multicultural state of Guatemala.
Our most important project is the non-profit community educational centre and social service focused to the Mayan culture. Authorized by the Ministry of Education, our project offers secondary level education to the 80 young students with majority of Maya Q'eqchi' origins, varying in the age between 13 and 24 years. The alternating model of 15 in-school teaching days and 15 distance-learning days is provided. All the students come from the distant rural communities and we offer them an academic preparation with full board. One third of the students are funded by the charitable entities.
Our students come from the rural areas and stay with us for fifteen days every month, then they return to their villages for another fifteen days in order to support their families mainly working in agroculture. During this time it is possibble to visit the children and their families, to better understand the background they are coming from.
These are the tasks needed:
1. Projects management: We need a person with knowledge of functioning and application procceses for competitions, projects’ drafting...It would be of a great help to get us known in the international community,
start networking with different NGO’s and develop institutional strengthening of the partnership.
2. Administration and accounting
We are urgently looking for a person with experience in accounting and administration, with knowledge of Excel and capacity to design and systemise the accounting of the institute. We have a current manager who is always present, but requires training to streamline the accounting processes, report, visualise and interpret data.
The volunteer is offered a posibility to fully hold classes and positively impact students. Ideally, for this position previous experience, knowledge of pedagogics and didactics motivating students is required. Volunteer is responsible for preparing the classes, assigning homework, writing the exams etc. Subjects in which the help is needed:
- Basic english
- Creative area: visual arts and music
- Natural sciences
The number of hours daily are difficult to determine; depending on the schedule of the classes, but normally not exceeding 4 hours.
4. Social/cultural involvement
We believe that teaching does not end outside the clasroom, so we are looking for active and enthusiastic people willing to interact with the youth in the school. We believe that it would be good to have open-minded, creative, curious volunteers who are willing to learn about
different life in rural communities of children. The simple coexistence with the students is of a great help to us.
Preferably, we are looking for a female volunteer for this position because our staff is only male teachers. Therefore, we consider it of a great importance to have someone who can be close to the female students, talk about taboo topics, recommend, advice and broaden their knowledge about the natural development of their bodies.
The work of the volunteer focuses on:
● Creating an audovisual or library room, with the object to provide the school with a place where students can meet, discover new knowledge from the books, music, documentaries, games...
● Organising the activities, games, workshops, crafts to brake the monotony of the students’ timetables.
Informal chats around the diverse topics the students are interested in (sexuality, gender, future life, studies...) with the objective to promote the exchange of the ideas and generate the debates amongst the students.
The role is related to the previous one in the sense that it could be taken on by the same person, although this feature may require more professionalism, to address some difficult issues and topics of our students. Although most of our students have relatively stable family
situations, within a living framework of poverty, some of them have relatives killed, others have been abandoned by their parents, some abused, etc.
6. Agricultural/environmental area
The volunteer can help us in managing the separation of waste, designing the system of collaboration with local warehouses or run workshops about the awareness and importance of waste separation, recycling etc.
We value the initiative and creativity in developing the recycling projects
ecological, environmental cultivation techniques.
7. Informatics/Social Media Manager
It is not a vital necesity to have a person with many skills in social media, but someone to just support us in the maintenance of the emails, updating Facebook page, the blog and the website – all social media created for us by the volunteer who left the school in May, 2015.
The person in charge of this function could also try and teach any of the teachers or students, so that in the long-term they could be responsible for this activity. In the recent months, there was a significant amount of information uploaded to the web page, Facebook page, blog and many different documents, like a document you are reading right now. It would be ideal to always have this information translated in English, with the idea to reach a wider audience.
There is also computer hardware material that can be reused to create new computers from the remaining old ones. Some computers are left tagged with the problems that require financial aid to get them fixed.
For the hours, there is no fixed schedule or restrictions. The volunteer needs to have initiative to develop his own ideas and projects.
The school provides the volunteer with the full board while collaborating with us. There are two 'volunteer rooms': 5 beds and two beds in each.
The food is only provided in the intervals while students are at the school. In the periods when they return to their communities, the volunteers can stay at the school, but they have to provide the food for themselves. There is a kitchen which volunteers can use to prepare their meals (equiped with fridge, hot plate to cook, dishes, cutlery etc.).
Meals are the same than the students which are basically beans and 'tortillas' most of the time, also vegetables, rice and sometimes the school can afford meat. We understand that volunteers could not like this food, then they would prepare their own food.
The school provides the volunteer with the full board while collaborating with us. The food is only provided in the
intervals while students are at the school. In the periods when they return to their communities, the volunteers have to provide the food for themselves. There is a kitchen which volunteers can use to prepare their meals (equiped with fridge, hot plate to cook, dishes, cutlery etc.)
When the students return to their homes, the volunteers can visit them in order to better understand the background of the families the students are coming from, help them with the homework, meet their parents and have an experience of spending time in the rural Guatemala. This part of the work volunteers have to fund themselves, but the cost is minimal, for example the transport only costs around 3 to 5 euros. In this period of time volunteers can also travel around and explore the country, or use the opportunity of tranquility in the school and relax here.
We require volunteers to be dynamic, work collaboratively, have an optimistic attitude and patience to the change of the rythm. Ideally, we are looking for the volunteers who are passionate and determined about their commitment, and can train the students and teachers. Finally, volunteer could work on more than one project as some of them do not require a lot of time. It is easier to see how things work here when you come. As long as you come with the motivation to change, teach and also learn.