The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc.

We offer Central Americans hope and the opportunity to overcome poverty by promoting democracy and prosperity through community libraries that spark a spirit of discovery and foster citizen participation.
Feb 25, 2013

Girls Readers = Girls with Confidence

Book delivery by boat and tuk tuk.
Book delivery by boat and tuk tuk.

Few could miss the recent "One Billion Rising" movement against violence towards women and girls.  Giving girls the chance to learn to read is only one step in this battle.  With the ability to read comes the self-confidence necessary to understand that they need not submit to violence simply because they are female.  What chance does an illiterate woman or girls have in a macho society?

We are so close to closing out this project so that we might start another one to include even more young girls and more training for our librarians on how to teach literacy to all age groups.  

The photo included with this report is a photo of books that your donations have made possible being delivered to our library in San Juan La Laguna at Lake Átitlan.  The box contains books requested by the library that are not available for purchase in Guatemala.  They were shipped from the US and driven to the lake where they were loaded on a boat and then a tuk tuk for delivery to the library.  

We thank you for your past support and hope that you will continue to help us forge ahead in building both reading skills and self-confidence in young girls in Guatemala.  

Saludos,

Links:

Feb 25, 2013

Ten Communities Waiting for Wheels

Chorti volunteers watching a Khan Academy video
Chorti volunteers watching a Khan Academy video

In the rural, Chorti communities surrounding Copan Ruinas, Honduras there are ten communities high up in the hills waiting and hoping for the arrival of a "bibliobus."  Currently, each community has a small supply of books provided by the Riecken library in Copan Ruinas.  When it is possible to navigate the unpaved roads with either a four-wheel drive vehicle or horses the books are rotated among the communities.  There are young people in these communities yearning for access to the global community without walking three hours a day to find both electricity and internet.  With a bibliobus we could not only provide more books and a lending library but access to the internet using tablet and cellular technology.  

Honduras is a country on the verge of being called a "failed state."  Our mission is to provide access to information so that the people of Honduras might change that.  Each of our 53 libraries in the country could benefit from having a "bibliobus" but we are asking for your help in just getting one up and running.  Once we have a prototype we can then go on about raising additional funds for more.

The photo included with this video shows two community reading promotors from the rural communities getting their first look at a Khan Academy math video and an iPad.  Now they know what is possible.

We thank you for your donations to date and hope that you will continue to support us in our mission to get more information on wheels to rural communities in Honduras.

Saludos,

Links:

Nov 19, 2012

Our "mobile" libraries need wheels!

One way to get books to the Chorti villages
One way to get books to the Chorti villages

During a recent visit to Honduras hiking was necessary as the mostly dirt path had had some fresh cement added to its most challenging places.  At the end of our hike was an eager group of youngsters waiting for their story hour.  A small collection is moved from the central library in Copán Ruinas to ten different "mobile" libraries in indigenous Chorti communities accessible only by four-wheel drive, foot or horseback.  Lacking our bibliobus means that each library has a very small selection of books at any one time.  However, having just a few books has changed the lives of many of the young people in these villages.  They have learned to read and have learned that there is access to information just a 90-minute walk down the hill into town.  Students who are pursuing their education past the 6th grade make that walk twice a day.  Raul, age 23, is very proud that he is now in middle school.  He volunteers his spare time reading to kids and helping to move the books from library to library.  With your help we could have a well-equipped "bibliobus" that could serve these communities much more efficiently and given them greater access to not only books but also technology.  Muchas gracias.

The "soul of the community" - their library.
The "soul of the community" - their library.
Waiting to hear a story.
Waiting to hear a story.
Raul getting his first look at a tablet.
Raul getting his first look at a tablet.

Links:

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