Belen Stories

Belen Stories
A history of the struggle of a group of people, for the creation of a study center for village
Video Duration: 
Juan López Silvestre
Thursday, July 14, 2016

I am Juan Lopez Silvestre, collaborator FUNDAP, I attend the Bethlehem Center One, of Santa Cruz Barillas, Huehuetenango community. located 279 kilometers from the city of Quetzaltenango. And 463 of the capital city of Guatemala. In late 2009 I received a call from Mr. Rufino Carrillo, a leader of the community, to solicit the support of Fundap in creating an educational center of the basic cycle.

This community is inhabited by people from the towns of Todos Santos, La Libertad, San Ildefonso Ixtahuacán and Jacaltenango, all the department of Huehuetenango. These people, not looking for the American dream, but the dream Maya IXCAN means to them to have their own land to survive. Before coming to Bethlehem, you are the village Mayaland where there is a sign that says: "Today's children want to return the children that war was" and within the Catholic church is the body of the leader of Ixcán, the priest William Wood, who was killed during the period of internal armed conflict. This shows us the suffering of the families in this region.

Met with leaders and hearing their own and others of these family stories, which tell a grisly past suffering the consequences of the internal armed conflict that lasted 36 years, these families have an indefinite number of dead and missing in their families; I perceive in some of these emotional scars and in others as if nothing happened. As for the educational issue, after explaining the various forms of education to which they could choose, with firm determination and thirst for quality education, they decide to manage an Institute Cooperative mode in which parents are administrators. Begin the process of management in early 2010 and achieve the authorization of the Institute on 8 August 2011. It cost a lot of money, Q 28,000.00, due to the complicated application process and the distance to travel to the Departmental Education in city ​​of Huehuetenango.

Initiate attention to students in 2011 with the 1st. applying basic degree pedagogy of alternation, which involves forming BY AND FOR LIFE. The community has 3,969 square meters of land for the construction of the school and 200 meters on the edge of the famous and little-known ixcán river, have other 7,056 agricultural projects intended for practical student. Elapsed time, in 2014, graduated the second class of students from 3rd. Basic and leaders have another goal, to continue the training of these graduates through the upper secondary level. Soon shall the second project of this community, want professionals who contribute to personal, family and community integral development. I am grateful that they gave me the opportunity to contribute in achieving the basic school authorization; however there is much to do to achieve the upper secondary level and infrastructure for both cycles. many hands to keep building this wonderful and challenging future are needed.

If you want to be part of this project comes into contact. Facebook: iebcop Belen. Or email:


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