Empowering Guatemalan Youth to Promote Literacy

 
$217,690 $82,310
Raised Remaining

I was eager to connect with "Marco," one of our dynamic reading promoters, on my recent trip to Guatemala. Last November his father – out of the blue – asked him when he would be getting married. Marco is 17. He explained to his father that his studies were his priority. He has two more years of high school left. He wants to finish school, get a job and then get married.

Marco's father got so angry with his response that he kicked him out of the house, telling him he never wanted to see his face again.

He was forced to find housing and a job to support himself during the months of November and December (while school is out of session).

I am happy to report he's back at home, studying and leading reading activities. He is clearly traumatized by the shock of having the rug yanked out from under him. He is afraid he may, again, lose everything without warning, in the blink of an eye.

"All is well right now," I told him, "so celebrate and enjoy that. Don’t get stuck in fear over what might happen. Daniel, Gael, Larry and I are here when troubles arise to help you think of options and solutions." And with that he smiled, hugged me, and I felt his body relax a bit.

Every one of our amazing teen leaders has a story similar to this. They live on a precipice, and even the littlest things can send them right over the edge. Marco's father is not a bad man. He is under tremendous pressure to provide for his large family. And it is largely due to the funds you provide for Marco's schooling that enabled his father to take him back under his roof. Our youth appreciate you greatly and depend upon your support to keep their lives on track. 

Your support really matters. 

Thank you for your partnership in this important work.

"Today I had a very beautiful moment. I have always heard children asking for food or money, but for the first time in my life I saw a group of children ask for a story. And that, for me, is very significant" -- Gael Dhaenens, Reading Village's newly hired Community Facilitator in Guatemala.


He couldn't have captured the essence of our work any better! 

Help us bring this love of reading and the opportunity for a brighter future to the children in one more community.

This year Reading Village will begin recruiting teen reading promoters in a third community. Our goal is to raise $10,000 on Wednesday, March 14th to pay for the educational expenses and training of these youth as reading promoters and community leaders.

Donations on Wed, March 14th -- and that day only -- will be matched here on our GlobalGiving site -- and only here. Mark your calendar! 

Your support is transforming lives.

The next Reading Village Learning Journey to Guatemala is scheduled for March 11-17, 2012. This is going to be a trip packed with memorable experiences, including a visit to the colonial city of Antigua, a walk through ancient Mayan ruins, a boat ride across stunning Lake Atitlan to visit a local coffee cooperative, and shopping for beautiful handicrafts. Most importantly, we will learn and work side-by-side with our teen reading promoters and the kids in the villages, and spend time in the homes of local families!

Over the years, we have learned that these 10-person trips to Guatemala are about much more than service, cultural exchange, and sightseeing. Our participants consistently tell us that their experience in Guatemala reshaped their lens on life and illuminated new directions after they returned home. So, whether you are looking for an escape from the cold weather, a superb travel experience, or something more, we are confident that this next Learning Journey has something to offer.

Please join us and consider inviting a friend or family member to accompany you. Our participants range in age from teen (accompanied by parent) to 75+ years old. No Spanish necessary. We currently have five open spaces left on the trip so do not delay. Finally, this is likely to be the only Reading Village Learning Journey in 2012 unless we are able to squeeze one in during early December.

Click the following links for a short video and detailed information. Contact Larry Dressler, our beloved Learning Journey Sherpa, with any questions at 303-506-3127.

Dont't miss out! Make your reservation today while openings are still available,

Links:

Thank you for helping us reach our goal on the 19th! Follow the link below to see if you are the lucky winner of an Amazon Kindle Fire.

Links:

 

Today only and
donations made on our GobalGiving site only

Donations will be matched 30% and 
you could win a brand new Kindle Fire
(Amazon's cool new iPad competition - web, movies, apps, games, reading, color!)

We've just selected 10 new teen reading promoters for next year. 
Help fund their scholarships and we all win:
1. Everyone who donates $100 to Reading Village on our GlobalGiving page today will be 
entered into a drawing for a brand new Kindle Fire. Donations of $150 earn two entries, 
donations of $200 earn three entries, etc.
2. All donations (up to $1,000) will be matched 30%. So a donation of $50 becomes $65! 
Donations of every size are significant.
Time runs out at midnight Eastern Time.
Don't miss this final matching opportunity of the year.

Thank you for your support,

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Organization

Project Leader

Linda Smith

Boulder, CO United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering Guatemalan Youth to Promote Literacy