A NOTE FROM XELA AID'S FOUNDING DIRECTOR
We at Xela AID are working to do something that has not been done before in the Guatemalan highlands and beyond: sustainable
community development. Here's how:
We know that education is the key to overcoming poverty and to creating abundance. We also understand that children who are sick or hungry cannot learn, and parents with too few resources to provide for their family cannot support children going to school. So, ours is a fully integrated approach to community development: we aim to remove the health, environmental and socioeconomic obstacles to education so we can transform poverty into abundance. This has to be done systematically, with continuous effort, and with continuous adaptation to current conditions. This is a tall order, but we are up to the task.
Xela AID is unique in its integrated approach, but also, in its philosophy:
We firmly believe that that partnering, respectfully, and recognizing the riches of the Guatemalan people is as important as the apparent physical outcomes we achieve. For Xela AID, our end product is the sum of our "doing" and our "being" together with our partners, and recognizing the benefits to all involved.
The combination of our thoughtful partnering creates a uniquely powerful outcome that has to be experienced to be understood. This approach trades judgement for understanding, dependence for dignity, and separateness for unity. To hear what some past participants have to say, watch our introductory video accessible from our Home Page.
Admittedly, we have high ideals and seek Xela AID team members who aspire to work in a good way consistent with our "doing and being" philosophy. Over the years, we have been fortunate to cross paths with hundreds of willing volunteers who are up to the challenge, and we welcome others—like you.
- Leslie Baer (Updated 2012)
Note: Xela AiD is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian, non-governmental organization and is apolitical. We have worked with a wide variety of religious organizations, humanitarian organizations, professional organizations, service organizations and others who share values consistent with our mission.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
> We believe that education is key to overcoming poverty, and that with an integrated effort that removes the health and socioeconomic obstacles to education, we can transform poverty into abundance!
> We believe that it is a privilege to serve others, and that in the serving, we too are served and our lives become richer because of it.
> We believe in serving the people of Guatemala by setting goals with them, and by fully cooperating with them to reach those goals.
> We believe in direct, grass-roots involvement, and by partnering with established organizations to provide sustainable, community-based systems for addresses the obstacles to education in all forms.
> We believe in enabling those who receive assistance to become givers by "passing on the gift" of training and assistance to others in need.
> We believe in the cultural integrity of the people of Guatemala, and are committed to activities that support their rich heritage and cultural traditions.
> We believe that the long-term success of our efforts depends entirely on our cooperation and partnership with the Guatemalan people, and so strive to be excellent listeners and humble partners.
WE STRIVE TO...
> Respect the people we serve, and the uniqueness of individuals within the Xela AID volunteer group.
> Engage the people we serve in decisions regarding the projects we undertake, the goals we set, and the methods we use in achieving those goals.
> Communicate openly, honestly, and effectively among Xela AID team members, with the Guatemalan people, and with partners and other stakeholders in our efforts.
> Listen actively, building consensus, and compromise.
> Be courteous in all interactions within Xela AID and between team members and the Guatemalan people.