All about us...
To improve the quality of education, create employment opportunities and promote positive impact from tourism on the local community. We achieve this through sustainable education, enterprise and environmental projects funded by a social enterprise to improve human and environmental well-being.
To create a sustainable future for coastal communities in Guatemala through locally-driven education, enterprise and environmental projects.
…and how we do it
• Year round education activities for children and young people through our Buena Vista library, secondary school and computer lab
• Vocational training programmes and enterprise initiatives for community members
• Promotion of conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in El Paredón
• Introducing new project partners to come and share their area of expertise
Some of our proud achievements:
• Construction of the Biblioteca Buena Vista, the first dedicated library in the village, where we run a wide variety of educational programmes and have collected over 2000 books available to the whole community
• Construction of the El Paredón Secondary School, an amazing new facility with a focus on vocational training that enables young people to stay in education
• Construction of the The Ojah Computer Laboratory where we host information technology workshops and teacher training for the municipality
• Our Award winning tour company, Chula Tours, providing employment to over 30 guides and hosts in the community
• Our locally handmade Chula Products, one of our social enterprise initiatives to create an income for women and young people in the village
• Our own English classes for tour guides, hotel staff, surf instructors and school children
• Annual Reports:
Annual Report 16-17 (coming soon)
La Choza Chula was established in June 2012
Founders Julia Harriman and Carla Thomas met in London working together on empowerment programmes with young people from disenfranchised communities.
Leaving the UK to use their skills in Latin America, they spent time visiting and researching various non-profit organisations in Mexico and Belize. Particularly inspiring was the Toledo Ecotourism Association in Belize and their unique model of community based tourism run by the local Mayan people in a remote rural setting.
Arriving in El Paredón in Guatemala, they were struck by the potential for a similar model due to the outstanding natural beauty of the area, warm people, growing surf tourism and a lack of connection between tourists, local people and the village economy.
Starting out teaching English, a month later they began running community tours and employing local guides. Three months later they opened a workshop where young people could learn how to make and sell crafts to tourists and the organisation has grown from there.