I came to EDLM in Fall 2015, and even three years later I don't know where to begin this review. The unforgettable warmth of time spent with homestay families could have an entire review of it's own-- I was consistently welcomed as a part of the family and was grateful every day for the most delicious handmade tortillas I've had to date. The teachings about local politics/coffee fincas/education/history still come up for me in conversations with friends-- it is rare that organizations lift up the voices outside of city limits the way EDLM does, and as someone committed to indigenous justice I felt incredibly honored that community members were willing to share their stories, homes, culture, food, and love. At EDLM you are able to not just hear unfiltered testimonies about the realities of post-genocidal Guatemala and *help keep these stories alive*, but can also then support this community, cook and break bread with them, joke with them, and connect genuinely with a people whose noble endurance is undefeated.
Furthermore, I can't speak highly enough about the staff facilitating the Mountain Program. Every single person there is phenomenal, full of humor and patience, absolutely passionate about EDLM's mission, and a wonderfully encouraging teacher. Furthermore, you're in a calm and relaxing atmosphere to practice your Spanish and study-- there's a little hut near the edge of the properties, nested in the trees, where I would take my homework and a cup of coffee each morning and I really saw my Spanish lessons stick during my time there. There is also, hopefully still, a verrrrrry funny black cat who likes to sit on your homework and encourage you to loosen up a little and pet him. Hammocks, an incredible library, straw huts where you have your daily lessons, unlimited local coffee, and incredible opportunities to learn: you will not find a more fulfilling opportunity. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter so you can keep up with the community once you go-- you'll miss them.