Putting Love into Action and Weaving a Better Future
Weaving together communities passion for education, the environment, and entrepreneurship.
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
Tejiendo Futuros is a non-profit organization located in Panajachel, Solola, Guatemala. Our mission is to create a space where sustainable living is accessible and realistic for everyone, regardless of social standing, race, or economic status. We aim to empower and inspire people to change themselves, and their communities to develop a more environmentally and economically sustainable world.
We are developing three main projects in order to achieve our vision and create a real change in Guatemala.
Our aim is empowering the members of our community through the following projects:
Holistic education to children (El Arbol del Niño);
Our main focus is pre-primary and primary education in Panajachel. We have adapted a holistic education model that allows children to develop to their fullest potential. Our program encourages children to connect and be aware of themselves, their roots, their community and Mother Earth, empowering them to become agents of change and transformation.
Agroecological farm Ka’Ulew;
The second and undergoing stage of our project is to build an intelligently designed volunteer/permaculture center for all to access and learn about healthy living, cultivation, and sustainability. The center, named after the Mayan word for our land Ka’ulew, aims to offer hands-on permaculture training whilst also offering affordable organic products to the local community, our students, and the families we work with. We want to equip members of our community with a path to a more sustainable and prosperous life not only through food access but applicable means of bio-construction and social entrepreneurship.
Local Entrepreneurial Project
With this entrepreneurial program each person will have the opportunity to discover their gifts, potencial, and passion to commit their energy to a future that weaves together the necessities and aspirations of the individual and community. Through teamwork we hope to create a just, balanced, and organized society
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
Our ultimate long-term vision is for the whole Guatemalan community to prosper and benefit from our projects with greater social cohesion and sustainable community led change.
Students and teachers of El Arbol del Niño.
The initial beneficiaries include 42 children between the ages of 4 – 12 years and their family members. These 36 families maintain low income life styles in Panajachel and surrounding rural communities.
We believe in order to see a real change, we must encourage family members to be involved in their children’s education. Families play a crucial role in a child’s development, adaptability, and comfort ability to flourish at school, home, and their broader community of 20,000.
We also aim to benefit teachers by providing them the necessary skills and materials to evolve traditional education towards a holistic model. We believe in the importance of adaptability within the learning environment. As such, we encourage creative means of material comprehension, student collaboration, and impact evaluation.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
Tejiendo Futuros invigorates sustainable development by placing citizens at the helm of their future and aspirations. We act to empower the skills that exist, nurture the soil, and inspire all to think collectively and act with agency.
Providing an educational path beyond the public system that operates under a traditionally narrow view of assessing intelligence, supports future creative and critical thinkers. Some private institutions embrace reformed education however, our students do not have access to these opportunities nor do these schools engage with the home environment extensively.
Many households we engage belong to the rural Mayan community that carries a deep history of systemic violence and marginalization. Neglect by social and civil services is often so internalized that ascending poverty is trumped by hunger. Our farm alleviates the immediate need for food sovereignty while the entrepreneur insinuate balances continued progress at a pace set by the community.
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
Energized and Inspired by the love within the Panajachel community, Tejiendo Futuros weaves together educating our future, empowering our present, and celebrating our environmental and cultural past.
Organization Filing Status
No, but we are a formal initiative through an accelerator, hub, or other entity.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
The greatest inspiration was my father who was a political activist and leader who gave his life for the sake of our country; in the ‘80s he was disappeared as a political threat.
My mother inspired me to be courageous and face adversities with resilience. Working within rural communities and seeing the realities of inequality fellow guatemalans experience everyday made me realize the lack of access and opportunities people face to achieve dreams for themselves and children's future.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
I have worked in public schools where children are taught to perform within the standards society has laid before them. Especially within rural Mayan communities where students are immersed in poverty and social exclusion I have witnessed the current education system fail to inspire innovative thought and questioning systems of power that have held families back for generations. Our holistic education project aims to provide children with the opportunity to discover new skills and a new way of living. With this vested perspective on life, we hope to create a change within Guatemalan social advancement.
Guatemala is a biodiversity hotspot with immense potential to provide sustainable livelihoods. There also exists historically deep Mayan cultural practices that collaborate with and protects the environment. By reviving traditional local knowledge with modern permacultural practices our farm aims to restore our land to its full potential and create job opportunities.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
It is very important to us to join forces in order to support the population and be able to influence public policies; for that reason we are working together with local authorities, community development councils, Ministry of Education and with NGOs: Mama Hope, Starfish One by One, Casa de Arte, Sotzil, Long Way Home, Vivamos Mejor, PAMI, IMAP, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad de Juárez, Chikach, Fundación Trilema, Casa Ronald McDonalds, Clinica Santiago.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
The people of Panajachel share a strong sense of family and community. Our projects aim to empower this network of compassion by promoting family involvement in education and organizing civile outreach and support at the neighborhood level. The vast majority of individuals in Panajachel are semi-skilled physical laborers. By facilitating the hardworking hands of Panajachel with farm land and space to sharpen their skills they can advance their existing talents and interests.
We are based in Panajachel, Solola, Guatemala which is in the southwestern highlands.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
The main project is continuous however we aim to have our subprojects up and running as follows:
Enhance school kitchen to provide healthy food for students – 1 month
Expansion of the school – 24 months
Construction of house on land – 6 months
Construction of working space – 12 months
Preparation of the land for agriculture – 18 months
Development of the eco farm – 24 months
Social Entrepreneur Project- 36 months
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)