Social Context

La Cambalacha is based in San Marcos La Laguna, located on the shores of Lake Atitlán, Sololá, Guatemala. Its 2,500 inhabitants subsist on the coffee and corn they farm.


Four decades of civil war, and centuries of colonial oppression have left communities like San Marcos La Laguna divided by socioeconomic position, gender, religion, language and more. These communities have been marginalised, segregated and deprived of many basic human needs.

The majority of households in San Marcos La Laguna suffer from economic poverty, malnourishment, health problems and alcoholism. Opportunities for education and employment are limited.

Guatemala's public education system provides very few options for artistic development: the national budget currently invests little or nothing towards creative processes in the schools. The education to which especially rural children and youth have access is monotonous, repetitive and of little capacity to generate creativity from both teachers and students.

La Cambalacha uses art as an educational and therapeutic tool to heal the wounds of the past, to start practicing peace, and to transform our reality with respect for nature, interculturality and human rights.