Who We Are

Our Vision

Li Ch’utam’s vision is to promote sustainable development while improving possibilities and conditions for local inhabitants through innovative and cutting-edge initiatives at the community level.

Our History

The idea for Li Ch’utam was born in 2009 when local Fincaros (farm owners) became aware of the growing inequality in the surrounding villages. Prior to 2009, the “Fundación Polochic” (an association that aimed to undertake Valley wide-projects) failed to gain momentum and the largest Fincaros in the area resorted to private initiatives. Out of this development it became clear that the establishment of a local, grass root nonprofit association was essential.

It was then that BALEU S.A., an agro-commercial firm in the valley, in collaboration with the organization’s two individual founders, established Li Ch’utam. Over the years Li Ch’utam has worked in collaboration with the Fincaros like BALEU S.A. and local communities to bring educational resources and opportunities to the valley. Today, we still work closely with community leaders, schools, and families to make catered projects available.

In 2012, the German branch “Li Ch´utam Deutschland e.V.” was officially founded. Our primary goal in Europe is to collect donations and draw attention to the educational situation in Guatemala. To accomplish this, we are supported by a growing number of volunteer staff and contributors who ensure the accomplishment of local projects and the allocation of an increasing number of scholarships by providing behind the scenes support such as fundraising, financial management, recruitment, IT, communication, and other key functions.

In addition to our remote team, we also have permanent volunteer staff in Guatemala City who manage and assist our temporary volunteers who reside in the Polochic Valley. Our Polochic Valley projects are led by volunteers from around the world who typically commit to 6-12 months working with us. In addition to our international volunteers, we also have volunteers from the communities we work in, making our projects truly owned and implemented by the community.

As Li Ch’utam grows we hope to professionalize while still maintaining our grass-roots level commitment to providing educational opportunities that the villages need and want. Ultimately, we hope to have local, paid positions so that the organization can be formally managed and owned by the community as the “Fundación Polochic” was originally envisioned.

Our Blog

Hear directly from our team members by viewing our blog!