Our Commitment

The Utz K team tries to be transparent about the ways in which its presence at the Lake perpetuates a history of dispossession towards the Mayan people of Guatemala. There is no way of getting around it.

One of the guiding principles of Utz K is to purposefully and resolutely attempt to embody a new pattern and archetype of local/non-local relationships; one that first acknowledges our historical privilege in order to conscientiously construct relationships based on a profound respect and esteem for the community that has so graciously accepted us to form a part of their reality.

Utz K seeks to exemplify a different model of local/non-local relationship that doesn’t just passively benefit the community via menial part-time employment or by gifting “stuff”, but actively seeks to share privilege, power and profit.

Sharing Privilege

Concretely, Utz K believes that the ethic of “sharing privilege” requires us to first acknowledge that cross-cultural learning is a luxury experienced almost exclusively by students from the Global North.

While these experiences are often transformative and eye-opening, rarely do people from the “receiving communities” in the Global South ever have an opportunity to engage in similar experiences.

Utz K asks all of the visiting groups from the Global North to contribute to a fund that is destined to facilitating South-South experiential education and cross cultural learning experiences for young people from the highland communities that partner with Utz K´s educational program, and for exchanges between different indigenous groups from across the Americas.

For exchanges between indigenous groups Utz K seeks to:

Foment greater community and solidarity between groups around common challenges and shared experiences.

Create space for groups to come together and read their respective contexts, so that potential spontaneous, non-prescribed responses can arise.

Add to the network of relationships between groups in order to strengthen grassroots movements and political power.

Sharing Power & Profit

Slowly but surely, Utz K intends to become what is known as worker cooperative.

A worker cooperative is not designed to maximize profits, nor returns to investors, but rather to maximize the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved.

Utz K envisions a growing team with more and more local participation. Participation may begin with employment, but the intention is that it leads to ownership. That is to say that ownership of Utz K is not limited to its original founders, but will slowly be shared with all employees in equal portions, and which additionally implies receiving an equal share of any profits or losses.