History — Founded in 1990 as a 501 (c) (3) organization by former Peace Corps volunteers to Guatemala, the name is a Mayan word meaning progress or success. In 2002, WALJOK transitioned to a broader focus. We have helped organize and fund volunteer work in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Bolivia.
Benito Jallurana brought us his dream of a place in town where young people who live many hours' walk from the high schools could have a place to stay during the week to access secondary education and prepare for university. Thanks to Friends in many countries, WALJOK, in partnership with Bolivian Quaker Education Fund BQEF, enabled his dream to become a reality. The Student Residence in Sorata provides a home away from home so that students from remote villages, where the schools only go to 6th or 8th grade, can access the high schools in Sorata.
We now have 24 dedicated young students, with more than half girls. They receive educational support and guidance in a safe and supportive environment. Most of our graduates have gone on to higher education.Through our partnership with Bolivian Quaker Education Fund (BQEF), our graduates are able to gain scholarship support for higher study. Through our combined efforts, with support from individuals and organizations in several countries, the Student Residence has grown and gained wide recognition for its service to rural indigenous young people.
Meet some of the world's 3rd largest population of Friends. They are primarily indigenous Aymara who are emerging from 5 centuries of oppression and severe poverty, and they are anxious to welcome you.
Visit pre-Inka Tiwanaku, Lake Titikaka's Isla de Sol ,sacred to 3 cultures, and Potosi, the origin of wealth that fed Spain's Colonial Empire. Natural beauty surrounds you everywhere.
.Meet rural farmers, city artisans, and high school and university students who benefit from projects of WALJOK, BQEF.org and QBL.org
A decade ago, the indigenous majority in Bolivia had little or no access to education. Today young people are completing high school and continuing to university or technical institutes. They are taking leadership roles and having an impact on their society. Most need some financial support to accomplish this.
Most of our Student Residence graduates go on to advanced study. Our young women have chosen career paths that include nursing, dentistry, education, law, veterinary medicine, office administration, French, gastronomy and more.
Magaly Quispe is an amazing example of how education can empower leadership for wide impact. As a sociology major with a BQEF scholarship, she was also trained as a facilitator of Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops. She recognized the need for this work in prisons and she has now spread the workshops to prisons in all the major cities in Bolivia. Magaly has also led trauma healing workshops. As part of AVP International, she has led community workshops in Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Central America and trauma healing workshops in Nepal.
To address Bolivia's high rate of Domestic Violence, Magaly and WALJOK are collaborating to bring the power of Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) to prevention of Domestic Violence in Sorata. She has just done the first round of workshops focusing on resolving and preventing violence in teenage relationships. The workshops held in March for juniors and seniors in a Sorata high school were so effective that the principal wants them to return for more and is suspending classes for the students and teachers to participate. He also wants these workshops for parents.
You can be part of enabling powerful change.