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    Thursday, 28 January 2016

    Who are we ?

    The Q’eqchi’ Association Xch’ool Ixim is a community organisation for Q’eqchi Maya people. We are proactive in  fighting to return vitality and strength to Q’eqchi Maya culture - not only to our language, traditional dress, customs and traditions, but also to our traditional knowledge, authorities, cultural values and principles, to ensure our development is rooted in Q’eqchi Maya culture. We also work to promote knowledge and understanding of our true history, our rights, identity and dignity; and to raise awareness of our social, political, cultural and economic circumstances.


    We were founded by indigenous community leaders from rural areas, who continue to manage the Association.  Our managerial structure has our General Assembly at its head, a Directors’ Board to manage activities, and a General Coordinator  charged with  coordinating and carrying out projects.

    The association was founded 7 June 1993, in San José Peña Blanca, in the Cobán district, Alta Verapaz. A diverse group of communities from the area united to start the organisation in the aftermath of our country’s 36-year internal armed conflict.

    General Assembly
    General Assembly

    Monday, 25 January 2016

    Origin and current status

    This initiative arose because many communities like Peña Blanca have been continually abandoned by the state, left without schools, without road access, and in general without the basic services to which we are entitled as citizens and by right. Further, Mayan cultural expression and knowledge continue to be  rejected and marginalised in public and private spheres such as education, health, politics, justice, legislation and employment.

    Our communities also suffer from prejudice and discrimination. Institutions with mercenary, politically partisan or sectarian goals have reduced our status through paternalistic assistance projects which have caused families to become dependent.


    Confronted with this situation, families and communities began to organise themselves to find a solution to the problems facing us. The initiative to organise ourselves arose from our own  community, without State involvement, because we needed our own structure to carry out the important work of strengthening and supporting Q’eqchi models of culture, history, rights and holistic development.

    Our goal is that member communities of the Q’eqchi Xch’ool Ixim Association know their rights and obligations so as to gain respect and recognition. We have learnt the important lesson that lack of knowledge of our rights means authorities and the dominant classes can breach them.

    In the midst of this community action we realised that we lack not only teachers and schools, but also education and development models to resolve our community issues.


    This is a children's song in Q'eqchi, composed by the heads of Xch'ool Ixim in 1995. It is still sung today in schools. We're sharing it so that bilingual teachers can sing it in their schools.

    Thursday, 21 January 2016

    Change of model


    From this point, we began to create a new educational and development model based on the Q’eqchi’-Maya Culture, in response to the demand for a system that could contribute to an improvement in the quality of education, critically analyze the social history of the people and communities in the region, and promote social, human and intellectual development.

    Teaching Mathematics through ábaco
    Teaching Mathematics through ábaco

    Therefore, the educational process developed and implemented as one of the actions of Xch'ool Ixim, aims to promote the role of the school in the community to be able to, firstly, take into account elements of the culture and history of the community as well as other knowledge of the curriculum taught in schools, and secondly, deliver an education which supports an integral development and strengthens cultural identity. This includes the implementation of an innovative methodological approach, which makes education a quality training and conscious learning process.


    Friday, 15 January 2016

    Philosophy, mission and values


    Organizational philosophy

    The philosophy of the Q’eqchi’ Association - Xch'ool Ixim is based on the traditional knowledge, principles and values of the Q’eqchi’ Maya culture, with a goal to strengthen identity and dignity. From this point, it carries out its activities, strengthening educational, productive, participatory and advocacy processes.

    Our mission

    We promote and generate the integration, promotion, and development of the Maya communities in the region, by strengthening the educational, productive, participatory, and advocacy processes based on the principles, values and knowledge of the culture.

    Maya ceremony
    Maya ceremony

    Our vision

    To be the Q’eqchi’ organization leading the autonomy and integral development of the Maya peoples in the region, rooted in their identity and dignity.

    Our values

    1. Practice of Mayan spirituality and promotion of their wisdom,

    2. Respectful coexistence, cultural diversity and Mother Nature,

    3. Permanent actions culturally relevant and meaningful to the community struggle,

    4. Criticism, self-criticism and conscious common benefit proposals,

    5. Maya Q'eqchi' Dignity and Identity,

    6. Productive sovereignty and Mayan knowledge in all fields,

    7. Perseverance and consistency between discourse and reality,

    8. Autonomy and integral development of the Maya peoples, 

    Sunday, 10 January 2016

    Activities Timeline

    Strategic Objectives

    1. Education based on the Mayan Q’eqchi’ culture : Creating an educational proposal based on the Mayan Q’eqchi’ culture, which will enable the implementation of systematic education at the primary, middle school program, and will correspond to our vision of “integral development” within our cultural knowledge and values, as well as promote the Mayan Q’eqchi’ identity.

    2. Productive community-based economy : Implementing rural and local productive development projects of sustainable nature with men’s and women’s groups which will help them bring higher income to their families and create higher living standards. The projects will secure their participation in education, healthcare, politics and culture.

    3. Political participation and education : Organizing and training community leaders and directors for political involvement and leadership, in order to construct a just and humane society, with identity and dignity.

    4. Strengthening the Maya Q’eqchi’ culture : Promoting and strengthening the value and knowledge of the Maya Q’eqchi’ culture, to contribute to personal development, securing the cultural practice as a sociocultural development.


    Coverage

    We initiated our organization and work with 5 villages … but currently, we have more than 300 participating communities.

    At the moment, Xch’ool Ixim covers eight municipalities in Alta Verapaz :

    1.    Municipality of Cobán:                                304 communities
    2.    Municipality of Chisec:                                25 communities
    3.    Municipality of Lanquin:                              6 communities
    4.    Municipality of Cahabon:                            6 communities
    5.    Municipality of San Juan Chamelco:           5 communities
    6.    Municipality of San Pedro Carcha:             5 communities
    7.    Municipality of San Cristóbal:                    5 communities
    8.    Municipality of Santa Cruz:                        5 communities

    Map of the geographical coverage of Xch'ool Ixim

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015

    Teacher Training and Updating Program

    The Q’eqchi’ Association - Xch’ool Ixim, in its effort to improve the quality of education in the regions of the Cobán district, believes it essential to initiate a process for the development of a joint project of strengthening and updating teaching so as to foster an intercultural, bilingual education in the classroom. Through a dedicated team of trainers, this program has assisted approximately 900 teachers and 300 schools in Alta Verapaz.

    Teacher Training

    The goal of this project is to improve the pedagogical practices in the classroom and strengthen the teachers’ theoretical and practical knowledge so that they can better assist their students in realizing their full potential. To do so, it draws on the experience of Alta Verapaz’s Board of Education in bilingual education, and also on the teaching methods implemented by Q’eqchi’ Xch’ool Ixim in the approach to language and culture. This joint effort responds to the policies of the Ministry of Education, and to the collective agreement signed by the National Assembly of the Magisterium, San Carlos University of Guatemala, and the Ministry of Education.

    Updating Program

    General Objective

    Offer a pedagogical proposal of quality that is appropriate for an intercultural, bilingual education for the linguistic communities in the region.

    Specific Objectives

    1. Design and implement a plan of teacher training and trainers in the application of educational, theoretical, and methodological procedures that includes the social and cultural context of each educational community.

    2. Develop and apply bilingual educational materials relevant to the realities and needs of the educational process in the communities.

    3. Carry out the technical and pedagogical support necessary for the application of intercultural and bilingual education in the classroom, based on the received training.

    4. Implement a plan for the community participation and advocacy at the regional level.

    Educational curriculum at the local level
    The Maya astronomy
    Pedagogical proposals for bilingual and multicultural education

    Educational materials - Tablero de computo
    Educational materials - Ábaco

    Thursday, 10 September 2015

    The K’amolb’e Maya Community School

    The K’amolb’e Maya Community School is a non-profit learning center for the communities, which was created to drive the academic development of young people from the rural area focusing on cultural identity.

    It’s K’amolb’e  (leader of positive changes). This center eases the learning and teaching processes, the construction of knowledge and the development of higher mental capacities.

    The center was created to assist youth (male and female) graduates of primary schools of the Q’eqchi’ Xch’ool Ixim Association and other schools in the region. There was a need to establish a middle school program to educate young Mayas Q’eqchi’ in various fields of knowledge such as agriculture, education and the environment, with the intention of creating human resources for work and integral development as an alternative of positive changes for the communities and insert global development without losing cultural identity.

    The learning center attends to the student population that has the need to continue their studies in the “ciclo basico” (middle school) and “diversificado” (high school) through the specialization: Magisterio (Teaching career) for Children’s Bilingual and Intercultural Education and Perito (Qualified Profesionals) in Rural Welfare and Community Development.
     
    The K’amolb’e Maya Community School
    The K’amolb’e Maya Community School
    It appears in January 2002 in the San José Peña Blanca I Community, created by the Xch’ool Ixim Association as a center attending students of a primary school level with the accreditation of IGER.

    In 2010, it becomes an annex to the Maya Guillermo Woods Institute of Ixcan, Quiché, offering the “ciclo basico” and for the first time, the course  of Bachelor in Children’s Bilingual and Intercultural Education.

    In 2011, through the project of a former pupil, it was transferred to the regional head of Nimlajakok caring for 45 students from different communities, still endorsed by Guillermo Woods.

    In 2013, it got the agreement to operate the “Ciclo Basico” through the N° 465-2013 DIDEDUC-AC’s Resolution, and one year later, in 2014, came the authorization to operate the course of Bachelor in Children’s Bilingual and Intercultural Education through the Ministerial agreement N°499-2014.

    Currently, the K’amolb’e Maya Community School attends to 85 students coming from 22 communities located in the Nimlajakok, Salacuim, Balbatzul regions, with also some coming from communities in Ixcán, Quiché.

    The learning center is found at the head of the Nimlajakok region which is located 85 kilometers northeast of Cobán. Initially, you drive 40 kilometers on an asphalt road that leads to Chisec; then, from Balbatzul, one takes the dirt road leading to Playa Grande Ixcán, Quiché. At that point, it remains about 45 kilometers before reaching the head of the region.


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