DESGUA: Training Educators in Mayan Communities

by DESGUA Sustainable Development for Guatemala
Feb 24, 2012

Our sincerest gratitude on this Mayan New Year

Social Documentary Filmmaking Course
Social Documentary Filmmaking Course

Our sincerest gratitude to all our kind supporters! Thanks to your generous donations we have been able to bring quality education to our Mayan communities:

In December, our School of Community Organizers hosted an all-expense paid two-week intensive social documentary film-making course for youth from three Maya Mam communities. Two ten-minute documentary films emerged from the workshop as a result of our committed students who zealously put to use what they learned (see links below). 

In January, we had the privilege of receiving and coordinating facilitators from South America, specialists in the methodology of the Theater of the Oppressed. A total of nine workshops were held throughout various communities within the western highlands and included participants that ranged from returned immigrants to midwives. Participants were encouraged to express how they felt about the problems and solutions to key issues in their communities through theater. Some of the topics addressed include discrimination against indigenous communities, women’s rights, reproductive health, youth empowerment, and political violence. 

In February, we celebrated the graduation of the second semester of Technology and Participation.  Fifteen young Mayan women received diplomas in Community Participation and Computer Skills levels 1 and 2 for their dedication to the four-month long course.  During the graduation ceremony the youth gave presentations on migration, mining, adult education and sex education to family and community members inspiring rich dialogue and applause.     

Over the last few months we have held various Mayan Cosmovision and Culture meetings, strengthening the relationships between youth, spiritual guides and traditional practices.  Just yesterday, on February 22nd, we celebrated the Mayan New Year on Oxlajuj No'j with over 20 participants from different regions and age groups. 

The new year initiates a new cycle, the driving energy of this day, Oxlajuj No´j, calls upon us to be mindful and reflective as to what we have done throughout our lives. 

From the DESGUA team we wish you the best of new years!  Thank you for your endless support! 


Documentaries from the Social Documentary Workshop: Our Communities through our Voices

Un dia con Lucia - Mujeres que Luchan (Language Maya Mam)

La Contaminación - San Martín Chile Verde (Language Spanish)

Theater of the Oppressed Workshop
Theater of the Oppressed Workshop
Theater of the Oppressed Workshop
Theater of the Oppressed Workshop
Technology & Participation - The Graduation
Technology & Participation - The Graduation
Oxlajuj No
Oxlajuj No'j - The Mayan New Year
Oxlajuj No
Oxlajuj No'j - The Mayan New Year


  • murphywoodhouse
    murphywoodhouse Mass deportation is one the biggest challenges that Guatemala faces today and, despite the enormity of the situation, there are very few groups working on the problem effectively. DESGUA is a shining exception to that rule. With a shoestring budget and a totally committed staff, they are helping returnees, especially minor... Read more »
    • 3 years ago
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Organization Information

DESGUA Sustainable Development for Guatemala

Location: Quetzaltenango - Guatemala
DESGUA Sustainable Development for Guatemala
Project Leader:
Anna Grewe
Quetzaltenango, Quetzaltenango Guatemala

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