Illiteracy is one of the most basic barriers to progress. But it doesn't have to be. The Chajul Community Library provides a critical learning environment for children in an impoverished Mayan region where illiteracy rates top 75%. Membership has almost doubled in the last nine months, and we must meet the growing needs of our enthusiastic new members! Your donation will enable us to expand programming, buy more books, and provide children with the support they need to create a brighter future.
Chajul is an isolated indigenous community located in the most impoverished region of Guatemala; today over 80% of Chajulenses live in poverty and 75% of adults are illiterate. Schools lack the most basic educational materials, while illiterate parents are unable to provide their children with academic support. Due to a lack of literacy skills, generations of Chajulenses remain unable to advocate for themselves, access key resources, or obtain good jobs, thus perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
Research widely confirms the critical importance of the early formative years of life and schooling for developing the skills and habits of literacy and learning.The Chajul Community Library-the first and only library in the community-provides children with learning materials, academic support, literacy programming, and a space conducive to study. It is an environment that cultivates a love of reading and learning, and gives children the tools and resources they need to improve their literacy.
There are currently over 900 library members, 99% of whom are between the ages of 4 and 14, and membership is growing steadily. By reaching so many children, the library is creating a new generation in the community of Chajul that values education and literacy. The ultimate goal is for this generation to have the skills needed to affect positive change in their lives and community.
My mom can't read, but I learned how to at the library, and I can come here to keep improving my reading and writing and do the best job of my whole class at my homework! - Eliada Mendoza Pacheco, 9-year-old library member
Total Funding Received to Date: $6,370
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $1,910
Total Funding Goal: $8,280