Established in 2021, the Luis von Ahn Foundation is committed to a future where all Guatemalans are equally valued, can thrive, and are able to fully exercise their human rights. The Foundation seeks to support local community leaders and nonprofit organizations working on improving the lives of individuals, especially women and girls, in Guatemala.

Where does our funding come from?

We are a US-based private foundation with direct funding from Luis von Ahn.

About Luis von Ahn 

Luis von Ahn was born and grew up in Guatemala City. At age 18, he migrated to the US to begin studying at Duke University, where he graduated with a BS in Mathematics. He later earned a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, where he remained a faculty member for many years. Luis is the co-inventor of CAPTCHA and founder of the company reCAPTCHA, which he sold to Google in 2009.

In 2011, together with his doctoral student Severin Hacker, Luis started Duolingo, where he now serves as CEO.


The Foundation’s core values are:

Our grant-making ethos

We believe the best solutions come from the communities and individuals most affected by injustice and inequality.  As such, we hope to be equal partners with the organizations, individuals and collective initiatives we fund, through a trust-based philanthropic approach.

What can grantee partners expect from the Foundation?

Our grant-making is based on trust, transparency, and mutual accountability. We want visionary leaders to focus on changing Guatemala, not meeting narrow grant mandates or limiting themselves to easily measured results. Our role is to deeply listen to our grantee partners, be responsive to their feedback, and add value when we are aligned and uniquely equipped to do so.

We believe the process by which change is made is just as important as the results. We take the time to develop strong relationships that try to address the inherent power imbalance that exists between funders and grantee partners. In doing so, we are able to better understand the gaps in philanthropy, improve our approach, and nurture practices that align with our vision, mission, and values.

What does a great partnership look like for us?

Our Grantees

In 2022, we’ll give US$3 million in grants to help Guatemala in 3 areas: women’s and girls equality, conservation of the environment, and democracy and youth participation. The organizations we’re funding are:

© 2022 Luis von Ahn Foundation