Team Building by BalamBe

team building BalamBe

The most important factor in achieving an organization’s goals is if its members can work as an efficient team. BalamBe has improving been team building for the last eight years and now offers workshops in La Antigua Guatemala. Guatemalan founder Axel Alburez has been a serial business entrepreneur for over 30 years, but his true passion is service and being […]

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Stronger Guatemala Coffee

Stronger Guatemala Coffee

Replenishing Soil Nutrients The Use of Effective Microorganisms for Strengthening Coffee Crops Coffee grows on some of the world’s richest land. For generations, the plots where modern coffee farmers plant their trees served as fields for corn, beans and other foods that made up a subsistence lifestyle. For hundreds of years, the ancestors of today’s coffee farmers fed themselves off […]

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Fotokids Celebrating 25 Years

Fotokids Guatemala

I covered the wars in Central America during the 1980s as a staff photojournalist for Reuters. I documented brutality and assassinations and there are images that will never leave me. When I slowed down enough to process all that I had seen I was not surprisingly—depressed. It was during this period that I received an assignment to take photos for […]

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Clean Water for Schools in Guatemala

Clean water for schools in Guatemala

In Guatemala, 97 percent of rivers are contaminated. The poor of the country, who depend on streams and rivers for drinking water, are left to drink a parasite-infested liquid that wreaks havoc on health. Tragically, it also causes the death of 1 out of 20 children before the age of 5. The impact of intestinal disease in these children and […]

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BOOK ALERT: “Doing Good… Says Who?


Authors Connie Newton and Fran Early. Angélica, a Mayan village widow with five young children, earns a living by making dolls from discarded textiles stuffed with straw and cornhusks. Facial features embroidered with brightly colored thread give the dolls personality and makes them popular at the market. Recently, though, the cost of medicine for a child with an infection has […]

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The Antigua International School receives accreditation

Guatemala education

The Antigua International School has received accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ (NEASC) Commission on International Education (CIE). Founded in 1885, NEASC is the oldest regional accrediting association in the United States. It serves almost 2,000 public and independent schools, universities and colleges (think Harvard, Yale, M.I.T., etc.) as well as all public schools in the […]

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Sister city Coral Gables, donates Fire Truck to La Antigua Guatemala

Antigua sister city

The firefighting capability of La Antigua Guatemala’s Fire Department has greatly improved with the recent gift of a hook-and-ladder truck from Coral Gables, Florida. Mayor Jim Cason of Coral Gables, an exclusive community just outside Miami, presented the 34-ton vehicle to Antigua Mayor Susana Ascencio and Fire Chief Rafael Arévalo during a ceremony on April 8 outside Antigua City Hall. […]

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Project Village: Education is the number one priority

guatemala education

The mountainous indigenous village of San Bernabé Vista Hermosa, near the municipality of Parramos, in the department of Chimaltenango, has been adopted — all 350 inhabitants… by Project Village. The brainchild of two former law partners from Denver, Colorado, Project Village began in 2006. The original thought was to coordinate and fund projects of other NGOs, each of which specialized in […]

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Artist Joel Batz Teaches Art as Therapy

guatemala art

“One of Joel’s goals is to have an “inclusive” art therapy program open to all children regardless of their physical abilities.” From an early age it was evident that Joel Batz would lead a creative life. As a child, he watched his father enjoy his hobby of sketching figures and forms, including architectural drawings. Joel describes him as a dibujante […]

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U.N. awards grant to Women’s Justice Initiative


The Women’s Justice Initiative (WJI), which empowers Guatemalan women to address inequality and gender violence, has won a highly competitive grant from the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. “The award will support WJI’s work to ensure Maya women and girls are able to exercise their rights to live free from violence and have increased access to […]

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Niños De Guatemala

Niños de Guatemala

Working to break the cycle of poverty and empower local communities around La Antigua Guatemala. Marten Dressen, his sister Annemiek Dressen and their friend Sander founded Niños De Guatemala (NDG) in 2006, in collaboration with Carmen Paniagua, a resident of La Antigua Guatemala. Working to break the cycle of poverty and empower local communities around La Antigua Guatemala, the NGO now […]

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La Antigua Resident Bob Graham’s Commitment to Economic Justice

Bob Graham

In 1973 Bob Graham visited Guatemala on a Kellogg Foundation Fellowship. He was struck by the tragic circumstances endured by so many Guatemalans, especially rural Mayas. He promised himself that one day if he could, he would help people in similar situations with both resources and money. Bob grew up in a middle class Midwestern family in the U.S. After […]

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Guatemala’s Magical Classroom


The nonprofit group Let’s Be Ready developed ‘Aula Mágica’ (Magical Classroom) to bring vital preschool education to remote regions of Guatemala. Every morning, teens walk mountain roads in rural Guatemala carrying magic in their backpacks. When they reach their destinations—community centers, churches, homes—they’re greeted by excited preschoolers who scramble into a circle, eager for the fun to begin. The teens pull […]

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Música en las Aldeas / Music in the Villages


This time last year Rafa had problems reading and writing and had stopped attending school. Now his literary skills have improved, he is reading music and back in class—all thanks to his classes at Musica en las Aldeas. As Rafa, 9, says, “I love playing piano. I like the sound of making my own music and I love coming here.” […]

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Putting Santa Cruz la Laguna on the Tourist Map

Santa Cruz la Laguna

CECAP – Centro de Capacitación (Training Center). High on a mountainside, overlooking majestic Lake Atitlán and her three volcanoes, sits beautiful Santa Cruz la Laguna. A small village accessible only by boat, Santa Cruz was previously known only for its scattering of restaurants and hotels on the lakeshore, and many visitors felt no reason to climb the steep hill to […]

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SERES — Education for Sustainable Development, Guatemala

photo Guatemala sustainable education

SERES, a movement started seven years ago in Guatemala and El Salvador by Australian engineer and passionate change maker, Corrina Grace, has been awarded the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development. Corrina and SERES leadership facilitator, Abigail Quic, were invited to Paris to receive the prize on behalf of over 2,000 youth and young adults between 15 and 25. […]

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Antigua Street Dogs – Making a difference

antigua guatemala street dogs

Original submission by By Dr. Dennys Marroquín and Amber Eastman (photos: Eduardo Montepeque) When visitors and tourists come to our beautiful city they are often disheartened by the large number of homeless dogs they see on the streets, many suffering from extreme malnourishment, injury, skin disease, and abandonment. It can be utterly heartbreaking to witness and feel so compelled yet unable […]

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Agua Para Todos — Water for Everyone

Water for everyone, Antigua Guatemala

La Antigua Guatemala. An Antigua restaurant’s initiative is gaining several positive comments on social media. Luna de Miel is giving Ecofiltro purified water to any person who passes in front of the restaurant. We invite all restaurants to do the same, and be part of the positive change that Antigua needs. It will help the environment by using less plastic […]

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Antigua International School Inaugurates New Campus


Last Saturday (Nov. 7, 2015) hundreds of parents, children, teachers, administrators, and guests celebrated the opening of the new campus of AIS (Antigua International School). First there was an interactive tour of the campus with classroom demonstrations and participatory opportunities including a quick marimba lesson for anyone interested. After that there were a few short speeches, some entertainment provided by […]

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Release of the Macaws


Dateline: Guatemala, October 5, 2015 The offspring of rescued parrots, nine scarlet macaws were recently freed into the wild by the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association (ARCAS), marking the first release of the endangered birds in Guatemala. The nine were freed Oct. 5 in the Sierra Lacandón National Park in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in northern Petén with the objective […]

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EDUCATION Antigua International School


Challenging students to cultivate a love of learning. Schools serve as model homes, as a place where learning and community coexist, a place where children strive for academic success while developing their personal growth in a supportive environment. How does the Antigua International School offer a quality education that encourages students to push past boundaries, to think outside of the […]

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Coffee Brews an Education in Guatemala

Every Kcup is weighed before being packed into the box

ARIMA – Community Service. Mission statement: Arima delivers limited editions of extraordinary, specialty grade coffee. We believe in openness and honesty to create a premium and socially responsible coffee brand. Arima always and only works the best single-origin 100 percent arabica strictly hard beans (SHB). We visit every coffee estate to ensure quality and establish a long-term relationship with producers. […]

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Comfort Ahoy: Guatemala

Comfort Heart: A girl listens to her own heartbeat during a medical checkup at Complejo Deportivo de Puerto Barrios. (u.s. army photo by PFC. Tomarius Roberts)

Hospital Ship provides assistance to thousands. by Matt Bokor. A hospital ship from the U.S. Navy brought free medical, veterinary, engineering and humanitarian help to thousands of Guatemalans during a recent nine-day deployment to Puerto Barrios. Personnel from the USNS Comfort provided dental, visual, pediatric and general medical services to more than 10,000 Guatemalans at two onshore medical sites in […]

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It Does Take a Village

Project manager greeting workers at site of water distribution tank.

Building a community at the grassroots level.  text / photos by Kerstin Sabene.  Implementing change, even when it’s meant to reduce health and social disparity, can be challenging. No one understands this better than Ignacio Ochoa, director of the Nahual Foundation, a think tank by and for indigenous people of the Americas, based in La Antigua Guatemala. Ochoa, who has […]

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Fuel Efficient Cooking

With her new stove that she helped co-design, Margarita saves Q1,200 every month.

New stove reflects what rural cooks want. CONSERVATION  by Matt Bokor  photos courtesy of Soluciones Apropiadas. By enlisting the cooks in the design stage, an inventive new company has developed a super-efficient, wood-burning stove that incorporates age-old methods of cooking tortillas. Although other initiatives have achieved positive results from safe, fuel-efficient stoves for rural households, Soluciones Apropiadas found that the clean- […]

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Women’s Initiative for Justice


COMMUNITY SERVICE by Matt Bokor. Thanks to the Women’s Justice Initiative (WJI), hundreds of rural, indigenous women in Guatemala are learning that they too have rights. Elena, for example, is now one of only a few women in her community who has legal title to her land. Magda, who married at age 15 to escape abuse by both parents, is a […]

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Adopte un Kilómetro!

by Elizabeth Bell, author/historian. At the end of a year in the late 1990s La Antigua Guatemala was full of street trash and potholes, and many of us complained to the mayor. Victor Hugo del Pozo kindly advised that the city had no funds. We sent a “spy” over to the treasury to, indeed, find that the meager budget in those […]

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Aj Tikonel Kab’ — Harvester of Honey, Guatemala

Beekeeper Genaro Cuj inspects the frames

Apiculture by Linda Conard photos: Pueblo a Pueblo Beekeepers On a hot, humid Sunday morning nine men and women beekeepers hiked the slopes Lake Atitlán’s Volcán Tolimán to tend small boxes quietly buzzing in a forest clearing. Wearing a veil, jacket, and gloves over her traditional huipil and skirt, Felipa Ajcalon Sajquiy, president of the Pampojila beekeeping association, stands by […]

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Upgrading the Basics in Guatemala

New facilities

Rotary International spearheads improvement projects in Sumpango’s elementary schools. Community Service (text/photos by Tono Valdés M.) — Guatemala’s Sur Rotary Club has taken on several projects of great benefit to communities throughout Guatemala. Under a new model called Future Vision, Rotary International has concentrated its efforts in the town of Sumpango, aiming to create a development model that can be […]

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