Maria de los Angeles Hernández Tzaquitzal

Country of Origin:

WLS Award:


Graduate Program: MA in Counseling, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala

Background & Goals: Maria de los Ángeles Hernández Tzaquitzal described her work:

“My name is Maria de los Ángeles Hernández Tzaquitzal. I am from Guatemala. I belong to the Maya K’iche’ ethnic group. I am currently a masters’ student in psychological counseling and mental health at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. With support from the Channel Foundation, specifically from the Native Leadership Scholarship, I graduated from college with a degree in pedagogy and education administration from the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. With this degree I have worked as a volunteer for the Asociación Intercambio Foundation (Exchange Association Foundation) and the Asociación Victoria (Victory Association). I am currently the director and legal representative of the latter.   We provide economic assistance to girls, women, and victims of the conflict so that they may continue with, and complete their secondary and primary education. I have also worked for Salud sin Limites (Health without Limits), which is an institution that focuses on empowerment and advocacy of youth, as well as sexual and reproductive health for boys, girls, and youth. I work in a small clinic as a promoter of alternative medicine. I also work as a traditional healer in my house. I love to give conferences at the Spanish language schools in Quetzaltenango. These conferences are about the ways in which indigenous communities use the Mayan cosmovision to interpret and cure illnesses. I understand the importance of traditional medicine, but also understand how Mayan priests have performed the roles of counselors; in the broad sense of the word. They guide people and cure them physically as well as spiritually. I would like to thank all those who contribute to my education.”

Post-Degree Projects: Maria de los Angeles Hernández Tzaquitzal finished her master’s program in Counseling at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. Her thesis was entitled, “The Role of Traditional Therapists.” In the past years she reported that she was elected mayor of her community — and also that she traveled to Canada to participate in the American Counselor’s Association and the Association of Canadian Counselors (ACA ACC) International Counseling Convention.