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Mayan Reality
The Development of the School
Reconstruction of the school house

The Latrine Project
Health Care
Parents’ Commitment
Additional goals and wishes
Join us!

How to help these children . . .

Kinder des Schulprojektes

In the Highlands of Guatemala ...  Karte

"A Future for Children - Aldea Laura"
fosters the integrated and free personal development of Mayan children in the highlands of Guatemala. The association especially promotes the children’s education. We help directly to preserve and to cultivate the cultural and material conditions in Guatemala. For the good of the children, we help their parents with the production of arts and crafts as well as agricultural goods. This is an abstract of the homepage of the Germany-based “ALDEA LAURA - Zukunft für Kinder” organization with its Guatemalan sister organization “ ALDEA LAURA – Futuro para niños”. “ALDEA LAURA – Zukunft für Kinder”, a small, completely privately funded NGO, concentrates on a project in the highlands of Guatemala designed to help underprivileged Mayan children. The project offers education on several levels and runs a small health centre in Chocruz/Guatemala.

Mayan Reality
Guatemala, one of the smaller countries of Central America and a neighbour of Mexico, has an extremely varied landscape, ranging from the fertile, tropical coastal region bordering the Pacific to the barren, mountainous highlands which have become the refuge of the Indigenous Mayan population, 3000 m above sea level. In the course of time, the Mayans were driven further and further into this extremely hostile environment.

The Mayans make up at least half the population of Guatemala, which is 40 % mestizos and just 5 % white. The different groups live completely apart from each other. The highlands are Indian territory, whilst the financially better-off mestizos predominate in the towns.

The people in the highlands live in extreme poverty. They suffer from malnutrition, unhygienic conditions and a shortage of drinking water. Medical care is inadequate to non-existing and communications are appalling. The lives of Mayan families are blighted by social injustice: 75 % of the workable agricultural land is owned by 4 % of the population. The Indian smallholder is left with only a tiny area of cultivable land in the arid steppes of the highlands, which often cannot support the family. Periods of civil war took an unimaginable toll on the rural population: yet the people in these parts continue to fight for their dignity and morale, their homeland and a living for their families.


The Development of the School
In 1996, the decision was taken to build a village school in Chocruz (a small village, which is more like a collection of huts, in the highlands of Guatemala; the nearest town of any size being Momostenango). Initially, room was found for 12 children in an old bakehouse.  Bachhaus

The number very quickly rose to 20 in a makeshift corrugated-iron hut where the children had to sit very close together. When the enthusiastic throng of pupils grew to 40, building work began on the school, in February 1997, using locally made adobe bricks. There are 3 classrooms  Schulklasse
and at the opening on February 2, 1998 there were already 90 pupils. This little school, which has developed into the central school of the mountain region, has now 265 pupils in 2016.

After the official acknowledgement by the Guatemalan government in 1999 ALDEA LAURA plans to offer a new branch to give the children a chance to develop at least some basic vocational skills, too, e.g. in the fields of the local weaving tradition,
Azubis mit Probestücken
professional farming, bakery, tailoring, office work.

For the storage of wood to be worked up in the carpentry, there was built a new hall in 2010, that is also used as assembly and show room.  


Clean water in sufficient quantities is a dream of the people of Chocruz, a dream about to become reality. A small stream supplies the only water available for drinking and cooking, bathing and laundry. If the stream dries up – which happens regularly - the whole area is without water. In periods of severe drought, containers of water were brought up the mountain and the precious liquid was strictly rationed: one beakerful per child per day. Thanks to notable donations the plan to construct the village’s own well has taken shape.

Fließendes Wasser


The Latrine Project
Two bio-latrines on the school were completed, using the two-way-bio-system which operates without water.


Their principle and purpose and correct use were explained to parents and children, providing information which stimulated their concern for the environment. This represented a major step forward in terms of health and hygiene for the children.


In 2012 the association MIRADOR e.v. of Leipzig/Germany was planning to construct and maintain a health centre in close neighborhood of our school project. On June 13 the building was completed and committed to the indigenous population. Two of our former pupils are working there as nurses.

clínica de chocruz

clinic room   mother and baby
Clinic room                        Mother and Baby
fotos by mirador

See a
in English

Health Care
Every six weeks ALDEA LAURA takes a young doctor from Antigua to Chocruz in the highland.

Ärztliche Untersuchung

Offering her weekends this trained pediatrician gives medical care to the neglected children for the first time in their lives. It is intended to expand the health station, because the services of a dentist and a gynecologist are urgently needed, too. ALDEA LAURA must make sure that there are the basics as a proper room, sufficient water, a refrigerator for medicine, examination couch and so on. Hopefully, we will find idealistic specialists to donate some of their free-time to the children (and their families) in Chocruz.
An important part of our health program is the regular meal the children get at school.



Parents’ Commitment
Basically, it is important to win the parents for the idea of education. In the Chocruz area just three men can read and write, all the other adults are completely illiterate. So we are happy that today there is a parents’ committee and an adult group which even tries to master the three R’s themselves!


See additional pictures
in our GALLERY
(with German subtitles)

What has happened so far?
November 1995: Founding of the association "A Future for Children - Aldea Laura” by 15 people in Nuremberg/Germany (we currently have 125 members and 120 foster parents).
June 1996: Founding of a school in the village of  Xecruz near Momostenango with 20 children and one female teacher.
February 1997: Start of a second class with a second female teacher.
March 1997: Founding of the association "Futuro para Niños Guatemala  - Aldea Laura" in Antigua (Guatemala). The association in Guatemala pursues the goals of the German parent association.
June 1997: Building of a school with several classrooms, a kitchen, a small medical room and an office.
February 1998: Opening of the school. Instruction began with 90 children and three female teachers.
July 1998: Construction of two organic toilets.

Fall 1998: Official acknowledgment of the school by the Ministry of Education.  The school now has the name
"Centro Educativo Futuro Para Niños, Paraje Chocruz, Pamumus, Santa Ana, Momostenango, Totonicapan."
Summer 1999: Start of the school’s second enlargement: three classrooms and employee housing is added, the kitchen is enlarged.

2008: Installation and commissioning of a carpenter's workshop
Carpentry workshop
2010: The first pupils finished their apprenticeship.

June 2012: Health Centre of MIRADOR e.V. installed.

The products
 ... we sell come from Antigua, Chichistenango, Momostenango, San Antonio, Aguas Calientes, Santa Maria de Jesus, Santa Rosa, Solola and many other villages in Guatemala. We buy all products for a fair price from the families and sell them without a middle man. The profit we make goes to the school project.
Arts and Crafts:
Almost exclusively hand-made originals including bags, carpets, shawls, tapestries, backpacks, and textiles
Traditional Maya Clothing:
peraches, huipil, corte, fachas
arks, wooden animals, pottery; jewelry made from natural materials like jade.


With opening of the health centre "Renate Hänsler"  CLINICA DE CHOCRUZ on June 13, 2012, this goal has become rality.

Additional goals and wishes

  • Long-term funding of the school
    Financial costs add up to approximately 30 EURO per month and child. This includes classes and meals.
  • Medical care
    We would like to set up a fully equipped medical room so we can offer guaranteed medical care every 4-6 weeks. Costs for the doctor add up to approximately 2.100 EURO per year plus expenses for medicine.
  • Organic toilets
    In order to prevent germs from spreading, we will continue building organic toilets for the community. A Mayan cooperative is in charge of this. The families will help with the construction. The costs for one organic toilet amount to 1.000 EURO.
  • Job training
    In addition to the regular classes, it is planned to include practical job training in the school curriculum (e.g. sewing, weaving, cooking, baking, woodworking, metalworking). So far, we have no clear concept of how this can be implemented or which expenses we should expect.
Reconstruction of the school house

As the old school house was criticized repetitively from the authorities as unsufficiant against earthquake, it occured necessary to construct a new one. This was tackled in 2017 and completed with the official opening on February 20, 2018. The growing of the reconstruction is shown in pictures at the german website NEUBAU.


   You can become a member (membership fee of  31 EURO/ year)

   You can sponsor the school project on a monthly basis

   You can sponsor a single part of our project with a larger sum

Bank account:
Commerzbank AG Nürnberg
Account #: IBAN  DE46 7604 0061 0512 3138 00
All donations serve a charitable purpose.
We will issue you a receipt for tax purposes, if you add your complete address on the transfer form:  
First Name, Family Name
Street, Number
City, Postal Code
If you are interested in working in Guatemala as a volunteer, please, send us an e-mail for further information.

For additional questions, please contact us at one of the following addresses:


Centro Educativo Futuro Para NINOS, Paraje Chocruz,
Pamumus, Santa Ana, Momostenango, Totonicapan
Direktor Juan Silverio Pelicó Xiloj
eMail: futurorenate@yahoo.com


”A Future for Children - Aldea Laura”
Anzengruberstraße 12, D-90475 Nürnberg
Phone: +49 911 830834
Fax: 03212 1368657
E-Mail: info@aldea-laura.de
FunigaLogo Logo Aldea Laura

Last update: February 13, 2018

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