The Escuela de la Montaña was established in 1997 by the non-profit Spanish language school Proyecto Lingüístico Quezalteco de Español (PLQ) in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The initiative grew from work supporting organized rural communities and with grass roots organizations using funds generated by the success of the PLQ language school. The creation of a small Spanish language school in the rural area outside the town of Colomba expanded the work amongst indigenous and campesino (rural worker) communities — in effect an attempt to take some of the benefits of the language school industry more directly into the countryside of Guatemala. The jobs created by the Escuela de la Montaña improve the
economic situation of our neighbours where there is insufficient work opportunities.
More importantly, profits are used to support grass-roots organizations (for example youth, campesinos, labour unions, women, demobilized ex-combatants, returned refugees, and displaced persons) working to promote citizen participation, community development, education, human and workers’ rights, and cultural activities. The Escuela also generates outside funding to support a scholarship programme for young secondary students and other projects to benefit nearby communities.