Student brigades

Students working in a brigade in Guatemala

Brigades of Canadian high school and university students travel to Guatemala to work with in Campesino Committee of the Highlands communities, providing solidarity and material support.

BC CASA  facilitates communication between interested teachers and the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), a Mayan movement of some 100 villages in the Guatemalan highlands. Teachers indicate the budget they have for a project and the CCDA matches them with a village that needs a project of about that size. Teachers and students either stay at the community or in the CCDA’s main village of Santa Cruz Quixaya for the duration of the project. Meals are provided by the local women’s commission.

We also provide pre-trip orientations and, if needed, link teachers with a guide-translator experienced in working with Canadian students and well-versed in Guatemalan social issues, and with a tour service that can provide transport and book hotels for the tourism portion of the trip.

If Brigades´need help with fund-raising, BC CASA also supplies them with coffee grown by the CCDA at discount prices. Students sell the coffee to raise funds for their portion of the trip, or for the group project.

Schools that have participated in senidng brigades include Highland Secondary in Comox, Earl Marriot and Semiamoo Secondaries in White Rock, and Kits and Magee Secondaries in Vancouver. Building projects have included: Chicken barns and chickens for village women´s groups, houses, coffee storage buildings and a daycare.

For more information on the student brigades, please contact Steve Stewart at