Our Story

On a soccer field in Morristown, NJ in 2000 a group of young immigrants from Cajolá began to reflect about a companion, Pedro Vail, who had been hit by a car. None of his friends felt safe enough to come to his aid when he was gravely ill. Outsiders decided to send him back to Guatemala, where he tragically died two days after arriving. This incident inspired the group of immigrants to organize themselves in order to prevent another tragedy from becoming exacerbated by their status as immigrants. The organization sought to watch over Cajolenses and fellow countrymen as they face illness, accidents, or tragedy while in the United States. Their interest in community protection expanded to include understanding the position of immigrants in the US  and the structural causes that led them to another country. After studying political and economical weaknesses of Guatemala, they embarked on a mission to change the status quo in Guatemala to alter the fate of those who may otherwise be forced to emigrate with no support. In 2005, some members returned to Cajolá to begin the Association Grupo Cajolá. Today, Grupo Cajolá is a multifaceted organization functioning in both the US and Cajolá to confront structural problems and community problems to create a better Cajolá. 

We are a group of Guatemalans and friends of Guatemalans, mostly from the town of Cajolá, Guatemala. Most of us are Maya Mam. Many of us have had to migrate to the United States to earn money for food, medical care, school, or housing for our families. We have organized ourselves into a community away from home. Over time, some of us have returned to Cajolá. We are working there to organize the community and to develop new opportunities for a better life. Our goal is to create a Cajola that no one is forced to leave in order to survive through collaboration and community building.


Promote the well-being of the people of Cajola who live in Cajola or in the United States.

Protect the rights of women, men, children, youth, and the elderly to a dignified life, including access to health, education, safety, and well being

of Cajola lives below the poverty line

How much of the Cajola community lives in the United States