The Q’eqchi’ Association Xch’ool Ixim (which means “heart of corn”), is a cultural, social, and educational indigenous community organization which takes its name from the sacred corn, a fundamental element of Mayan culture that is of great importance in Q’eqchi’ family life. The organization is named “heart of corn” because its philosophy is based on the knowledge of Mayan Q’eqchi’ culture.

Xch’ool Ixim was founded June 7, 1993, in San José Peña Blanca, in the Cobán district, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. A diverse group of communities from the area united to start the organization in the aftermath of our country’s 36-year internal-armed conflict. Despite the signing of the Peace Accord in 1996, the indigenous peoples in the rural regions of Alta Verapaz had no access to education. As a result, Maya educators and leaders such as, Fredy Oxom, developed an indigenous association and formed five small primary schools for 1st – 6th graders in the region of Nimlah’akok to promote access to education in rural Q’eqchi’ villages.

To promote and generate the integration, promotion, and development of education and Q’eqchi’ Maya cultural identity in Guatemala. 

To provide equitable access to education and learning to the Maya people in the region, rooted in the revitalization of our identity and dignity.

Video presentation of the association Xch’ool Ixim