Following a terrible earthquake that hit the country in February 1976, a group of Guatemalan scholars who had studied music in Belgium made a donation to JM Guatemala, a student organization of the National Music and Scenic Art Conservatory, with the aim of creating something with promising future prospects, not merely to soothe momentary lacks. The 'Centro para las Artes de Chimaltenango' was then established, a cultural institution with a futuristic vision that has been alive for 31 years, and has given Guatemala over 2,400 elementary musical graduates without ever receiving one cent from the Government.
The centre, located in the City of Chimaltenango, about 32 miles from the Capital City of Guatemala, is maintained thanks to the help of private companies and individuals that are aware of the importance of spreading the culture throughout the people of Guatemala. At the centre, children and young men and women, mostly indigenous, attend classes (guitar, soft flute, piano, wind instruments, choir, drawing and painting) every day after finishing their daily tasks.
In 1996 the 'Club Rotario del Valle de Guatemala' initiated a project to construct a second floor addition to host a Visual Arts School, taking JM Guatemala one step closer to their goal of establishing a Superior School of Liberal Arts in Chimaltenango.
The Choral Society of the Arts Center of Chimaltenango has become the cultural ambassador of the city and one of the most highly respected artistic institutions within the community and throughout the country. The choir has performed across the country, including the prestigious National Palace of Culture, where they shared the stage with baritone Luis Felipe Giròn Mey. The choir is made up of 40 active and former students from different parts of Chimaltenango, and performs at least five concerts per year.