Kamalbe Spanish School and Volunteer Center is an excellent way to get involved volunteering from Day One in Xela. We have no minimum time commitment, and we are genuinely thankful for all volunteers who choose to help us.
Supporting communities in the west Highlands of Guatemala through programs that provide equal access to both education and health.
Kamalbe's main goal is to support rural, indigenous communities around Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Currently we are working with the community of Xecanchovox. Most of the residents are single parents, trying to sustain their families on a meager income earned through manual labor. They live in poverty and can only dream of a better future for their children. Our primary goal is to help these families build a future by providing educational support, mobile dental programs, and scholarship programs that help children attend school. We welcome volunteers who would like to assist us in any way. The main beneficiaries of your time are the children.. There is no minimum time commitment and while here, you will have the opportunity to learn a new language and participate in indigenous community development.
Our work is supported by our language school where we offer private Spanish lessons provided by professional teachers. We also offer lessons in K'iche, the dominant Maya language of the region, and English. Link to Learn Spanish
Xecanchavox (The community)
Comprised of roughly 500 families, this impoverished community relies on manual labour, small scale agriculture and money sent from relatives working in the United States to provide enough income to survive. The community is also under-served when it comes to education. Most children do not have the quality of education needed to keep pace with their counterparts in more developed areas.
Our long term goal is to build a community center that will provide space for educational, health and recreational programming in the community. Some of the programs the community center will be home to includes dental hygiene education, health and nutrition workshops, personal and business finance advising, tutoring for K-12 students, English lessons, computers and technology seminars, and recreational sports, games and arts. We are currently raising funds in order to start building the community center.
While we don’t yet have a centralized home for these programs yet we still try to bring the services and information to the people in Xecanchavox. We utilize our connections in the community , especially the school, and rely on our dedicated volunteers and interns to teach workshops, host clinics, and facilitate recreational activities in Xecanchavox.
For more information about volunteer and intern activities currently happening in Xecanchavox and for updates on Community Centre progress please see :
In order to support this community, Kamalbe School has created the following programs to try to improve the life of the children:
1. Current Volunteer Positions & Internships - Learn more
2. Back Pack Program - Learn more
In Guatemala, children can only attend school if their families can pay for school supplies, uniforms, books and any other educational materials needed to school. The severe poverty in rural communities often prevents them from attending school. The families in the community we are currently supporting - Xecanchavox - often don’t have enough to eat, let alone have the money it takes to send their children to school. Kamalbe wants to provide the necessary supplies for each child that may otherwise not get to attend school, or have to withdraw from school because their family cannot afford it. It costs approximately $25 US to purchase a back pack and supplies: notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, ruler, scissors, a glue stick, erasers, sharpeners and water paints.
3. The Nicolas Sponsorship Program:
In Guatemala, children can only attend school if their families can pay for school supplies, uniforms, books and any other educational materials needed to school. The severe poverty in rural communities often prevents them from attending school. The families in the communities we try to support Tigre often don’t have enough to eat, let alone have the money it takes to send their children to school. The goal of the program is to provide sufficient economical resources to the families in the communities to allow a child to attend school.
The fee covers:
Registration Supplies—text books, note books, pencils, etc. Uniform for school and for sports Two pairs of shoes—one pair for sports and the one for daily use Basic medical care.
Waiting List: 8 children still need sponsors. The program provides assistance with homework to the students who need a sponsor and are waiting for admittance into the program.
4. Clotilde Mobile Dental Clinic
Guatemala has one of the worst dental services in the world, ranking only behind Haiti. Most children in rural indigenous communities have never received any dental treatment or dental education in their lives. According to information given by the principals of the local schools, the percentage of students with cavities has reached 77%. This is a tremendous problem because many of the families already do not have enough money to afford basic necessities, like food never mind fees for a dentist. A lack of access to quality dental treatment can be very detrimental to the health of these children.
Kamalbe has created the Dental Mobile Clinics to provide dental care in the communities, so health problems are detected on an early stage and are accompanied by preventive campaigns.
Thanks to the agreement between Kamalbe School and Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Quetzaltenango, its Dental School helps provide fluoride application, dental extractions, and lectures for children in Xecanchavox. We also assist some parents with minor dental treatment, and all the treatments are free to the children.
Kamalbe Clinics have the goal of reducing the number of children with dental cavities and assisting local schools with their education. We are not only trying to avoid dental problems, but also create a healthy culture through educational programs for the kids by teaching how important it is to take care of their own teeth and general health.
Our free services are fundamental to achieve dental health as well as reducing costs for rural families so that this money can instead be put towards feeding their family.
5. Community Center in Xecanchavox
Our long term goal in Xecanchavox is to build a community center that will provide space for educational, health and recreational programming in the community. Some of the programs the community center will be home to includes dental hygiene education, health and nutrition workshops, personal and business finance advising, tutoring for K-12 students, English lessons, computers and technology seminars, and recreational sports, games and arts. We are currently raising funds in order to start building the community center.
The Kamalbe Community Center will act as the project's base. It will be a dedicated center where our school can give lessons to the townspeople on a regular basis. Once the Center is built, we will be recruiting full-time volunteers to live in the accommodation provided by the Center, teach the lessons to the community, and take charge of our programs there.
Our architects have quoted us around $18,000 for the full completion of the Community Center, including everything necessary on the interior. We have currently raised $6,000 to purchase the land, and another $1,000 towards construction.
Currently Kamalbe School is working with two organizations in Guatemala to help carry out our mission, the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and Oficina de Estudios Juridicos Kamalbe. In USA we have partnered with George Mason University which provides volunteers each year to help in our programs. They alsoprovide dental supplies for our programs.