The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation.
In the community of Parramos, about a half hour outside the city of Antigua, Guatemala, sits a new library that any town would be proud to call their own. Completed just last week, it's already abuzz with children darting in and out as Hans and Marta (the librarians) teach word games and chess. Its yellow walls and cool tile floors shine as a beacon of hope in the middle of a dusty field that the community hopes will someday hold a school as well.
Back in a quiet corner next to a bookshelf holding the technology related books, are three new Apple computers. More and more Guatemalans are using the internet for work, school, and fun, but in rural communities like Parramos it’s still not common for families to have their own computers. The library and it’s free computers mean access to a world outside this town, and for some their first opportunity to access learning tools as simple (and yet valuable) as Wikipedia. As Guatemalan public schools are rarely able to adequately prepare students for anything more than the most basic of jobs, access to additional education at the library enables these children and their families to dream of a better future.
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