Fatima lives in San Juan La Laguna, Solola, Guatemala on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan. In her home she speaks the Mayan language Tzu'tzu'jil; in school she speaks Spanish. Fatima is in the second grade yet, thanks to the Girl Reader program in the village library she is reading well above grade level according to US standards. And a few questions will confirm that Fatima is also understanding what she reads. When asked why learning to read was so important one of the reasons given by a group of girls in the library was so that they could help their parents who were unable to read. They also cited the fact that, if they knew how to read, that they could learn anything that they wanted to. Learning to read and being encouraged to stay in school is just one step towards empowering young girls in Mayan communities. With your continued help we can strengthen this program and expand it to more of the libraries in our network. With your ongoing support we can develop books clubs exclusively for girls which will not only sharpen their reading skills but also self-confidence and creative thinking.
Francis Jaqueline Martinez lives in a remote Chorti village which is a 20-minute ride by four-wheeled drive vehicle from Copán Ruinas, Honduras. When photographed Francis was finishing up her 7th grade science homework next to the family's adobe kitchen. A generation ago Francis would not have been in school, rather she would have been collecting firewood and hauling water with her mother. Francis's father is the leader of this community of about 250 and very appreciative of the tiny "bibliomovile" provided by the Riecken Library in Copán Ruinas, called by another resident, "the soul of our community."
We would like to see more books in the little library in Francis' village of San Rafael and we like to have the resources to encourage her to make the trek down the hill to continue her education and utilize the resources of the much bigger library in Copán Ruinas.
With your help Francis can become a community leader like her father and she too will see that her children are educated as well. You can also help to ensure that the younger members of Francis's community will also turn into readers. Riecken is currently providing story hours in the village kindergarten.
We would like to invite you to view our newly released video which contains footage of books being delivered by horseback and by foot to remote Chorti communities near Copan Ruinas, Honduras. Just click on this link to see some of the people who will benefit by your donation. With a fully equipped "bibliobus" or mobile library we could put smiles on so many more faces. During the rainy season many rural communities in Honduras are only accessible by vehicles with four wheel drive thus these communities often go months without seeing new books. Books we can find but we need your help to purchase the vehicle.