The Hermandad Educativa is a sisterhood of two non-profit language schools: the Proyecto Lingüístico Quetzalteco in Quetzaltenango (known locally as Xela) and the Escuela de la Montaña, located in the coffee growing region outside Colomba. The older school, the Proyecto Lingüistico Quetzalteco de Español, was established in 1988. The Escuela de la Montaña followed in 1997. The schools offer affordable, quality Spanish language instruction to foreign visitors while generating decent-paying jobs and income to support projects that benefit the people of Guatemala.
The Hermandad Educativa was established with the goal of helping address some of the harsh conditions facing the Guatemalan people. In addition to providing jobs for local teachers and families at a reasonable wage, including the payment of all legal entitlements, maternity leave and three weeks holiday pay, the schools that comprise the Hermandad use their profits to support groups and projects working toward solutions for Guatemala’s social and economic problems. The schools are managed by a collective of teachers, and the profits do not go into the pocket of a single owner – as is the case with many other language schools.
The Hermandad has a long history of working with human rights and popular organizations. We have accompanied returned refugee communities, been present at exhumations of clandestine cemeteries of civilians killed by state forces during the war, supported strikes by workers at coffee fincas, and demonstrated solidarity in a host of ways with many other social and popular organizations. This, along with our focus on providing information about the current situation in Guatemala, means that students are able to meet with union leaders, former combatants of the URNG, political and human rights activists, journalists, health workers, educators and others.