In alignment with Tumul K'in Center of Learning's practice of following Maya values, Community outreach is not only embedded into the philosophies but are actively pursued and practiced.
"Culture is integrated in everything we do at Tumul K'in, it is just the reason for all that is undertaken and is embedded in the vision, mission and values of Tumul K'in, either directly or indirectly." Esther Sanchez Sho - Managing Director, Tumul K'in Center of Learning. That being said, very little room is given for the misplacement of cultural integrity at Tumul K'in.
Upon entrance of Tumul K'in's campus, visitors will be assaulted in a variety of sensation as one basks into a world of utter awe and disbelief as they observe that Tumul K'in is not just a Maya organization but is an organization that promotes its mission and vision. Students proudly wear their traditional cultural clothing, while others laugh and dance to the rhythm of the marimba music echoing into the valley, while the sweet scent of fresh corn tortillas being made pulls one towards the huge thatch cafeteria, signals to the visitors that they have entered into a world of peace and magnificence.
Tumul K'in welcomes adolescents from all walk of life and cultural background and is the home of students from various cultural backgrounds, and is proud to have Mopan, Q'eqchi', Meztizo, and Creole students sharing their culture among each other. The student body actively practices the traditional way of life and the spirituality of the Maya people. Tolerance for all is adamantly promoted and cultural barriers are broken through the integration of different cultures respecting the indigenous way of life.
The agricultural program is designed to offer technical experience to students, it is important to note that students adhere to traditional planting techniques such as the slash and burn or planting in accordance with the moon cycle and the Maya Calendar. Traditional food crops such as corn, rice and cassava are continuously planted and harvested.
During school session, students participate in culture night, where they prepare and present a short program to faculty and visitors. These activities allow students the freedom of self expression and are an avenue for students to illustrate what they have learned from their various classes and portray the world as they see it as a young Maya individual. These events are followed by the playing of the marimba music by students and dancing of the harp and marimba music. These cultural events are designed for students to socialize in a healthy and culturally enriched environment. Further more, during special day classes, students participate in basket weaving, Cuxtal making, learn to play marimba and learn the various Maya dances. Students are continuously encouraged to participate in an extra curricular activity so as to strengthen their personal growth and development as unique individuals.
Tumul K'in annually celebrates 'Maya Day', where students, with the guidance of staff, prepare activities and presentations to the parents, local and international visit and other students from the other high school who are interested into the curriculum and life at Tumul K'in. The students show cases their academic and technical skills by presenting their program area and skills through drawing, pictures and oral presentation. The parents, surrounding villages and the general public are invited to celebrate 'the Maya Identity', by taking part in one of several activities, such as the dancing competition or being the best dressed Maya woman present or by grinding tortillas the traditional way. The day is filled with cultural activities, music and food. The aim of this event is to promote culture and Tumul K'in and to build cultural awareness among the Maya communities of Toledo.
In accordance with the governance of everyday life within the Tumul K'in community, an Alcalde is elected every year. The Alcalde is responsible for peace keeping and establishing order within the student body. He or she listens to student conflicts and seeks solution to the conflict arising with in the Tumul K'in community, with everyone in the community being fully aware of the conflict and the resulting solution to the presented conflict. An additional responsibility of the Alcalde is the organization of the monthly 'Fahina', where the Tumul K'in community comes together are tackle various tasks such as cutting fire wood, washing tanks, compound cleaning, garbage collection and disposal and any other tasks that needs to be done as a community.