Limitless Horizons Ixil

Limitless Horizons Ixil's mission is to create opportunities for the indigenous youth, women, and families of Chajul, Guatemala, to develop the academic and professional skills needed to effect change in their lives and community.
Mar 14, 2014

A day of festivities and fun in celebration of literacy!

Belmont students with some of our library users
Belmont students with some of our library users

Dear supporters,

A warm greeting from Chajul where our library continues to flourish thanks to your support!

Last week, to celebrate the now 1,400+ members of our Saber Sin Límites (Limitless Knowledge) Community Library, Limitless Horizons Ixil threw a party for all, a fiesta de carnets (library card party). With the help of visiting volunteers from Belmont University in Tennessee and our committed librarians, we organized an afternoon of games, stories, theatrics, and snacks for our growing community of booklovers.

Our hope was that the fiesta de carnets would both celebrate literacy and attract new members, and would also be a fun a cultural exchange between the students from Belmont and the kids of Chajul.

The day kicked off with a reading of Where the Wild Things Are (in Spanish!), complete with a riveting reenactment of the story. The kids were simultaneously thrilled and terrified by the ‘monsters’ from Belmont. Our enthusiastic and inspired volunteers then set up six stations offering a range of games including basketball, duck-duck-goose, musical chairs, hopscotch, jump rope, and dodge ball. We divided the kids into groups and rotated them through.

The room echoed with delighted shrieks and competitive yells for the next hour as both groups threw themselves into the activities. The day ended with cookies and atol de arroz con chocolate (a traditional hot drink made from rice and chocolate) for our tired volunteers and delighted Chajulense library members.

The fiesta de carnets was first and foremost a celebration of literacy. Like our ‘Reading Adventures’ initiative we described last time, the party was an opportunity to reward our library users and cultivate a positive correlation between reading, study, and communal enjoyment. We strive to create a community within our library by establishing a network of readers who support each other and who can learn and play together. This helps attract new members and also gives our current users an appreciation for education, for reading, and for shared learning and growth.

Thanks to your support, our library continues as a center of learning and community involvement in Chajul. We will continue to keep you updated on our exciting activities and developments in the coming months.

Warm regards,

Alice Stevens

On behalf of the LHI team

The hall was decorated with streamers and balloons
The hall was decorated with streamers and balloons
Jump rope was popular with the kids!
Jump rope was popular with the kids!
It was a day of laughter and merriment!
It was a day of laughter and merriment!

Links:

Dec 18, 2013

Hurrah! Esperanza and her classmates have graduated!

Graduating youth proudly hold their diplomas
Graduating youth proudly hold their diplomas

Dear supporters,

Esperanza and her peers—the Limitless Horizons Ixil youth in their last year of middle school—have all graduated! These youth are a smashing success. In fact, this year LHI youth of all ages received higher average grades than ever before. Nine of the 11—including Esperanza—will be continuing as Limitless Horizons Ixil Youth Development Program participants and scholarship recipients in 2014 as they start high school. In Guatemala, one normally selects a career focus in high school, and these youth have selected a variety of high school programs. Some will be studying in programs only offered outside of their hometown, and some will be staying in Chajul. They are so excited to be embarking on this next great step. The group put their heads together collectively and wrote this message:

“This year, we have the opportunity to graduate from middle school and go on to high school. Each of us has chosen a different career (high school field of study) because we want to continue achieving our dreams and have success in our future lives. Studying in high school is the base of every good education. We will each be going off to different schools. We are very proud of all that we have accomplished, thanks to the support of each one of you.”

Happy holidays and thank you from Esperanza and her peers!

Warm Regards,

Danielle

P.S. Below is a drawing from the graduating students. The caption says, “In the sunset of every beautiful evening is all the peace of the earth. It’s as beautiful as the hope of life.”


Drawing and signatures by graduates
Drawing and signatures by graduates
Dec 18, 2013

Field day for Chajul library members to play and learn!

Marilu and Edilma guide the children on their way
Marilu and Edilma guide the children on their way

Dear supporters,

Last week marked the end of “Reading Adventures,” a special 2 months of vacation activities in the Limitless Horizons Ixil Saber Sin Límites Community Library in Chajul. (In Guatemala, the long vacation between school years starts in October). Every day, kids flocked to the library to read together and read alone. The kids who came regularly were rewarded last week with a special gift—a book all of their own, the first many of these little ones have ever owned!

One of the most memorable and exciting activities during Reading Adventures was our “field day.” Sixty-six young kids from the library joined hands (each with a partner) and moved en mass down the dirt road to a local school’s big empty field, with our librarian Marilú, program & library manager Edilma, volunteer Meg, a group of older Youth Development Program participants, and myself helping to supervise and organize. All we needed was each other, the great outdoors, and a few activities. Between smatterings of rain underneath a cloudy sky, we had ourselves some fun.

Marilú and Meg had planned a treasure hunt for the day—an educational treasure hunt. We were divided into 5 groups with a staff member or volunteer, an older LHI youth, and 14 kids in each group. My team was “the insects.” We hunted for a box of questions in the field, and opened it to discover questions about insects! All of our little teammates put our heads together to write down names of different insects, parts of their bodies, and places where the insects could be found. When we rejoined the larger group, each team took a turn presenting our discoveries—and each of our kids performed a demonstration of a type of insect they had found in the field. Our 2 tiniest members—sisters, smaller than all the other children, who had stuck close together all day—embodied little ants and wandered around the large circle of kids “attacking” the other little ant children! Screams and giggles made their way around the crowd.

It is your support of our library that allows us to make educational activities like field day happen. Your donations also allow us to provide training resources and mentorship to our librarians and local staff so that they can develop their own expertise and creativity to nurture our children. Your gift allows us to continue giving these kids a space for expression, opportunities to grow and develop, and the chance to create fun memories.

Happy holidays and thank you, from the children and library members in Chajul.

Warm regards,

Danielle 

LHI youth scholar Carmen and me with "the insects"
LHI youth scholar Carmen and me with "the insects"
"The insects" prepare to perform
"The insects" prepare to perform

Links:

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