The main goal is to study the worldview of the ancient and current Maya civilization about education, in a perfect connection between the person with the whole of the community; of the person and it’s respect for mother nature as fundamental principles of life.
I have always felt that living in the Planet Earth was never just a coincidence and my concern with its welfare and every being inside of it was always important to me. Four years ago, I found out why I feel this way. In my interpretation of my life map, according to the Maya Astrology, I understood that I am on this Earth to be the guardian of the Mother Earth. To take care of her on every level and focusing on education. This way I somehow attracted to me the Association Ochoch Hiik’ek “Casa Esperanza”, where I want to learn the wonderful symbiosis that they live with their educational center between learning English, social sciences, informatics as well as cultivating, redirecting the water from the rain, helping to cook the daily meals, washing the dishes, cleaning the school and taking care of their clothes, in a self-sustainable way.
Could this be an exemplary method to be applied in our schools? This could start to be implemented in rural areas and afterward adapt it to bigger cities. We could start in primary school and, this way, at a very young age, kids could get to know and value their own effort and of everything around them. In this particular association, the daily life is based on the worldview if the ancient civilization Maya, in the energy of the Tzolkin calendar (one of the calendars created by the Mayas). In this association, people live with the energy of Kaban (the Mother Earth), with the energy of Men (the server of humanity) and with Kawak (community work).
Here, the educational system works very differently from the one we have in Portugal. Here come many young people from rural and indigenous areas just to be able to have access to education. So, the association divides the time in two ways: Two weeks where the kids spend their time only on school grounds, including sleeping time, and the other two weeks of the month they go back to their hometown to help their family and their community who need their help to support themselves. The volunteers also help in this second phase, where the teaching method is long distance, but, sometimes, they going back home with students and stay with their family and community, which allows them to accomplish two things: continuing the teaching method of the association but using a different reality and to evaluate the educational needs of the community members so they can help them in a way that is actually needed and appreciated. Since the association has no financial support that doesn’t come from donations, they found a way to gather more resources by teaching individual lessons in English (main interest) or any other subject anyone can be interested in learning. This is where a lot of the volunteers' capabilities come in handy since they come from very different parts of the world. They help the students during the studies, their daily tasks in the school, they journey from and back to the school and also in their own communities.
About the author
My name is Margarita Moreira, I was a secretary for many years and at 40 years old I went back to school and got a Bachelor’s degree in Geography, specialized in Education. I continued my studies after that with a specialization in Animation and Socio-Cultural Mediation and another one in History Education. During the time I was able to teach I worked in the field of adult education which made me realize how much value our life experiences have and these are fundamental to learn how to live a conscience and tolerant life. At this moment in my life, I am working as a masseur and a holistic therapist, which comprehends the human being as a whole and not just as a body.
This professional switch did not make me be any less interested in the educational field, quite the contrary, it only intensified my need to get to know other ways of educating that promotes self-knowledge, that strengths the connection with the other and the environment around us and the Planet Earth.
This will be my first experience as a volunteer in this particular field but, in my daily life, I try as much as I can to give back: I’m a godmother of several cats and dogs in different associations; I constantly sign petitions that fight for animals and human rights; I’ve sent too many emails to City Halls reporting animal abuse and other situations in my community that are in need of attention. In addition, I am vegan because I believe that, even though I am just one person in this vast Universe, my actions have a huge impact on my own life and the life of the people that I cross paths with, such as you.
My name is Ana Luísa, I am the daughter of Margarita and I have been supporting this project, in the distance, in an emotional level as well as dealing with all the logistics, such as: filming and editing the video, designing the logo of the campaign and helping maintain the facebook page.
I am a graduate in Multimedia and right after I finished my studies I did a year of voluntary work in Bulgaria, in a theater company, where, besides acting on the plays I was also in charge of the media and marketing department of the organization. Here I meet a different reality that made me want to know myself and be in touch with my mind and feeling in a way I have never thought about before, an exercise that only strengthened my relationship with myself and everything around me. I was in Switzerland for a few weeks, where I participated in an Erasmus + project, that was sort of nature retreat where we learned how to live in nature and with nature, respecting all the natural surroundings. I was also in London for a training about equality and overcoming prejudice. After that, I spent two months in Tenerife, volunteering on a permaculture farm where I learned how to work together with nature and instead of using chemicals for crops, we took time to get to know the land and the climate so we could use the energy of the sun, the rain, and the beautiful animals in the land to grow our food. A truly believe in the emotional greatness of this experience in Casa de Esperanza, embracing it with enthusiasm, promising you to do my best to keep you updated on every wonderful moment that my mother will experience there.
Budget and due dates
This crowdfunding campaign ends on the 26th of January of 2019. I intend to go to Guatemala on the 13th of January that so I can be present for the opening of the school year in Casa Esperanza, which takes place on the 14h of January. I will be living there as a volunteer for three months, ending my stay on the 8th of April 2019. I must leave a few days before completing the three months since I am not allowed to stay in the country for more than 90 days. The goal of this campaign is to raise the amount related to the two was travel from Portugal to Guatemala. The remaining costs will be covered by me. In this association I will perform tasks to help maintain the school such as cleaning the rooms, lecture, promote workshops, organize the library, translate the association’s webpage to Portuguese, help with the vegetable garden, accompany the students to their community and find out what kind of help they need to improve their wellbeing. With all my heart and your support, I’m very excited and thankful to be able to be part of this community.
In case this campaign gets full funding, there are some commissions that will be deducted: one of 5% + TAX charged by the PPL and another one of 2,5% + TAX to cover the payment commissions (Paypal, ATM, etc)
- Travel costs two ways - 845€
- My stay at the association during the 15 days that the students go back to their community - 60€ (costs covered by me)
- PPL Comissions - 85,88€