The Asturias Academy is one of few schools that actively promotes equality amongst indigenous and non-indigenous students. We give our students the option of wearing traditional Mayan clothing as their uniform. We teach K’iche, an indigenous language, as part of our curriculum. We have cultural exchange days where students can share their culture with each other. In addition, we incorporate practices into our school day that promote equality. Our students’ daily classroom greeting utilizes three languages: Spanish, K’iche and English. To promote the idea that all three greetings, languages and cultures are equal. Through these different strategies we work towards building a society where all Guatemalans are able to live in harmony.
Historically, indigenous people within Guatemala have been deeply discriminated against. This discrimination has ranged from bias against Mayan languages, to unfair hiring practices, to massacres in indigenous villages. Presently, despite comprising more than half of the country’s population, indigenous Guatemalans account for less than a quarter of Guatemala’s income and consumption. The Asturias Academy is a school committed to justice, where all students can come to learn, indigenous or not.