Who We Are
Founded at Georgetown University in 2020, Project Olas began as a student-led social impact venture, and has quickly expanded across state lines and national borders. We provide sustainable income opportunities for moms in vulnerable Central American communities, by offering you Spanish language lessons live via WhatsApp.
When you learn with us, you practice Spanish; but together we foster financial empowerment by enabling access to global economies in communities that were–until recently–off the grid.
We develop personalized and hands-on curriculums in partnership with professors at Georgetown University and NGOs on the ground. But our commitment to caring for the individual and finding roots in the community does not there. We facilitate paid training programs for Olas moms to further their professional and personal development. We use our online platforms to create culture exchange and meaningful dialogue.
We are the heart of language learning.
There is something special about the way a mom listens. A special connection–across cultures, languages and walks of life–emerges when a mom welcomes you into her home.
In the Guatemala City Garbage Dump, the average woman has a 4th grade reading level, has rarely touched a computer, and makes $3-$5 a day engaging in dangerous work that puts her and her children at risk.
However—and this is a big however—she uses WhatsApp audio and video every day to communicate with friends and family. At Olas, we use this extremely recent and growing trend of com-tech penetration in Central America to employ her through technology with which she is already comfortable.
On the ground, we partner with local NGOs that exemplify the dual values of financial literacy and emotional support. Through our responsible partnerships, we keep our approach hyper-local, monitoring our impact every step of the way.
Olas takes a human approach to community-based language learning. For Olas moms, it is a sustainable financial opportunity that is safer than her current best option.
The Olas Origins
At 16, Olas CEO Rebecca left home in small-town Maine to live in Seville, Spain. There she met her host mom Isabel, and first realized the power of moms. Rebecca's own mom had passed away when she was 10. Because of her relationship with Isabel, Rebecca ended up staying in Spain for two years, rather than one. In 2019 she graduated from a local public high school in Seville, where the language of instruction was Spanish. As a freshman in Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, she founded Project Olas.