Instituto Ochoch Hikeek
Mayan Institution Ochoch Hik´eek is an educational organization striving to contribute towards the development of future leaders who will solve community problems and appreciate Mayan land in the framework of the multicultural state of Guatemala.
What We Need
1. Projects management
We are looking for an individual with knowledge of competitions and their application processes as well as the drafting of projects. We would like to become more known in the international community by networking with different NGOs and strengthening partnerships with other companies.
2. Administration and accounting
We are eagerly looking for an individual with experience in accounting and administration, knowledge of Excel, and the capacity to design and systemize the institute's accounting structure. Our current manager is always present but requires training to streamline the accounting process and to report, visualize, and interpret data.
We offer volunteers the possibility to hold classes and positively impact students. This position requires previous pedagogic and didactic experience and knowledge. The volunteer is responsible for preparing classes, assigning homework, writing exams, etc.
Subjects in which help is needed:
- Basic English
- Creative areas (i.e. visual arts and music)
- Natural sciences
It is difficult to determine the daily hours for this job; it depends on the class schedule but normally will not exceed 4 hours.
4. Social/cultural involvement
We believe that teaching does not end in the classroom; so, we are looking for active and enthusiastic individuals wanting to interact with kids in a non-traditional academic manner. We are looking for open-minded, creative, and curious volunteers who are willing to learn about the different lifestyles of children in rural communities. The simple coexistence with the students is of great help to us.
Preferably, we are looking for a female volunteer for this position since our staff is composed of only male teachers. Therefore, we consider it of great importance to have someone who can talk to the female students about taboo topics, give advice to them, and broaden their knowledge about their bodies' natural development.
Work will focus on:
● Creating an audiovisual or library room in order to provide the school with a place where students can meet and discover new insights from books, music, documentaries, games, etc.
● Organizing activities, games, workshops, and crafts to break the monotony of the students’ schedules.
● Holding informal chats with students around interesting, diverse topics (i.e. sexuality, gender, future life, studies) in order to promote the exchange of ideas and generate debate amongst the students.
This role is related to the previous one in the sense that it could be taken on by the same person, although this specialty may require more professionalism. This individual would address difficult issues and topics with our students. Although most of our students have relatively stable family situations, within a living framework of poverty, some have relatives that were killed, others have been abandoned by their parents, some abused, etc.
6. Agricultural/environmental area
The volunteer can help us manage the separation of waste, design a system of collaboration with local warehouses, or run workshops to spread awareness about the importance of waste separation, recycling, etc. We value initiative and creativity in developing the recycling projects.
7. Informatics/Social Media Manager
We are looking for someone to support us by maintaining our emails and updating our Facebook, blog, and website. Our social media was created for us by a volunteer who left the school in May of 2015. The volunteer does not have to have prior experience in social media.
We hope that this individual could show the teachers or students how to do this so that they could become responsible for this activity in the long-term. We would like the information on our social media to be translated into English in order 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 problems that require financial aid to get them fixed. There is no fixed schedule or restrictions. The volunteer needs to have the initiative to develop his own ideas and projects.
When & Who
What we Provide
The school provides volunteers with full board. There are two 'volunteer rooms', one with 5 beds and the other with two beds.
Food is only provided in the 15-day intervals while students are at school. In the periods when they return to their communities, the volunteers can stay at the school but they have to provide food for themselves. There is a kitchen that volunteers can use to prepare their meals - it is equipped with a fridge, hot plate, dishes, cutlery, etc.
Meals are the same for the volunteers as the students: mostly beans and tortillas. There is also vegetables, rice, and sometimes the school can afford meat. We understand that volunteers may not like this food; in this case, we expect them to prepare their own food.
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More Services we Offer
When the students return to their homes, volunteers are able to visit them in order to better understand their familial backgrounds, help with homework, meet their parents, and experience rural Guatemala. Volunteers have to fund this part of work themselves but the cost is minimal; for example, the transportation would only cost around 3 to 5 euros. In this period of time volunteers can also travel around and explore the country or use it as an opportunity for tranquility and relax.
Other Ways to Help
Additional Info about Us
help in organization and cleanliness of the school, attend the store, accompany the children in the hours of studies and sports activities.
the activities are always the same
Our most important project is our non-profit community education center and social service which focuses on Mayan culture. Authorized by the Ministry of Education, our project offers secondary level education to 80 young students varying between the ages of 13 and 24 and the majority of whom have Maya Q'eqchi' origins. We use an alternating model of 15 in-school teaching days and 15 distance-learning days. Our students come from rural areas and stay with us for 15 days every month and then return to their villages for another 15 days in order to support their families, many of whom work in agriculture. During this time, it is possible to visit the children and their families in order to better understand their background.
All students come from distant rural communities and, so, we offer them an academic education with full board. One-third of the students are funded by the charitable entities.