Learn More About Guatemala and the Xela AID Community:
• Xela AID Brief History
• Guatemala Cultural Orientation by Xela AID Board Member John Douglass - PDF
• Xela AID Philosopy, What We Believe, What We Strive For (below)


During our more than two decades of service to the San Martín community, we have learned that both education and the opportunity to work are key to overcoming poverty. We also understand that children who are sick or hungry cannot learn, and that parents with too few resources to provide for their family cannot support children going to school. These realization's have fueled Xela AID embracing a strategy of fully integrated community development: We aim to remove the health, environmental and socioeconomic obstacles to education, and to provide jobs skills and job opportunites. In this way we work hand in hand with the people of the region to transform the poverty that for centuries has had a strangelhold over the people of this region into a lasting abundance. This has to be done systematically, with continuous effort, and with continuous adaptation to current conditions. This is a tall order, and we are up to the task.

As a summary of our work, Xela AID:

• Educates Children and Trains Leaders
• Empowers Women and Combats Domestic Violence

• Creates Jobs and Fuels Small Businesses
• Prevents Diseases and Promotes Wellness
• Responds to Emergencies

To learn more about how we approach sustainable community development and our outcomes, we invite and encourage you to view our latest Impact Report HERE.

I am often asked about the story of Xela AID's founding in 1992 during Guatemala's bloody three-decade Civil War. I will soon provide that story here as a downloadable PDF.

To learn more about Xela AID's Philosophy, the principals we were founded on including "What We Believe" and "What We Strive For," read on.

If you have questions or comments, I would enjoy hearing from you and invite you to contact me directly at leslie@xelaaid.org.

Sincerely yours,

Leslie Baer Dinkel
Executive Director

Xela AID Philosophy

We believe that that partnering respectfully, and recognizing the riches of the Guatemalan people are as important as the 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 derived by all are are nvolved.

The combination of our physical work and thoughtful partnering creates powerful outcomes for our Guatemalan community, and for our volunteers. To read what some past participants have experienced, please take a look at reviews of Xela AID volunteer trips at Great Non Profits.

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 hundres of willing volunteers who are up to the challenge. If you would like to join us or would be interested in learning more, please clicking through here: Information on Upcoming Xela AID Volunteer Service Trips
What We Believe

• We believe that education and the opportunity to earn a living are key to overcoming poverty, and that with an integrated effort that removes the health and other obstacles to education and work, 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 in culturally sensitve and appropriate ways 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 as they "pay forward" 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.

What We Strive For

• To respect the people we serve, and the uniqueness of individuals within each Xela AID volunteer group.

• To engage the people we serve in identifying their own needs, setting goals, and selecting the methods we use in achieving those goals.

• To communicate openly, honestly, and effectively among Xela AID team members, with the Guatemalan people, and with partners and other stakeholders in our efforts.

• To listen actively, build consensus, and deepen understanding.

• To be courteous in all interactions within Xela AID and between team members and the Guatemalan people.

• To demonstrate integrity in all our dealings.