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.
Jan 12, 2016

Saber Sin Limites (Limitless Knowledge) Community Library 2015 Highlights

One of our members during Reading Adventures
One of our members during Reading Adventures

2015 was a fantastic year for our Saber Sin Límites library, thanks in great part to your support! We are busy throughout the year with various activities for the Chajul community and want to use this opportunity to share with you highlights and stats from the past year. In total, the library now has 1,893 users with 467 newly registered in 2015 and is currently home to 4,057 different book titles, 773 which are new this year! The library received about 100 visits per month, most commonly for academic support, reading club, story hour, and art. Here are some highlights about a range of facets in our library programming!

New Lending Services: As we reported earlier in 2015, we decided to initiate a lending program this year, currently open to participants in our Youth Development Program. We had 31 registered members taking advantage of the program this past year, and we hope to expand the lending program to the entire community in the near future.

Reading Adventures Vacation Programming: The Guatemalan school year ends in October, so we recently hosted our annual vacation programming with engaging daily activities, including story hours, book-creation activities, dance classes, and recorder lasses. The library members enjoyed themselves and were excited to learn new things in a fun, engaging environment. Librarians, interns, and library members hosted a concluding celebration and invited Chajul community members to see performances and participate in games.

Fiestas de Carnets (Library Card Celebrations): We held two of these events in 2015 to promote a special we offered for library cards—2 for the price of 1 (at approximately $1 a card, the nominal fee charged that encourages responsibility and buy-in). The celebrations included almost 100 people, with activities including face painting, musical chairs, create-a-book, LEGO building, jump roping, hopscotch, and Frisbee.

Cultural Story Hours: We held a total of 22 cultural story hours in 2015, held in two sessions on one day a month. For these events, an elder of the community comes to share a story from the Ixil culture as a way for children and teens to learn the history of their community thus helping to preserve Ixil culture.

Story Hours: This year we hosted 76 story hours (twice a day on Wednesdays) with each including an activity such as art, games, or skits with the goal of strengthening children’s imaginations and helping them expand their vocabularies! A total of 1,556 people attended story hours in 2015, mostly younger children between the ages of 5 and 12.

Reading Clubs: We hosted 98 hours of reading club with a total of 840 participants in 2015! The youth have been working on improving their reading comprehension, writing, and reading abilities.

Without supporters like you, our work and successes would not be possible. Thank you for your continued support. As 2016 begins, we hope to expand our programs and continue to implement new activities. We send you gratitude and warm wishes from Chajul!

Two members reading at the library
Two members reading at the library
Our librarian David leading story hour
Our librarian David leading story hour
One of our younger members reading a book
One of our younger members reading a book
Members waiting for an activity to start
Members waiting for an activity to start
Dec 16, 2015

A review of 2015: Celebrating continued growth and success in Chajul!

2015 Graduates
2015 Graduates

During this holiday season, the Limitless Horizons Ixil community is celebrating another successful year! Thank you, you have played a vital role in the change occurring in Chajul!

This year has been full of exceptional growth as we have expanded our programs to include new initiatives to even better serve our scholars.

We want to share with you a summary of the successes we’ve seen in the Youth Development Program during 2015 – these would not have been possible without your support.

Youth Development Program Alumni

  • We hosted our first Limitless Horizons Ixil alumni reunion early this year and another one was held a few weeks ago.
  • LHI alumni are now known as Triunfadores sin Límites (Limitless Achievers) and will be creating their own executive board in January.
  • We launched our Internship and Training Internship and hired 4 interns. We have 2 working in the community library, one in our Artisan Program, and another working on program support and administration.
  • One of the interns got a full-time job while she was participating in our program!
  • 70% of graduates from last year are working, studying, or doing both.

Youth Development Program Current Scholars

  • We had 10 high school graduates and all of them intend to pursue university degrees.
  • 2 of our graduates were awarded university scholarships for 2016 and many others are currently applying to college.
  • We had 8 middle school graduates and all, but one will be continuing with high school.
  • Our middle school scholars scored higher grade point averages than their peers who are not participating in our program.
  • For 2016, we have selected 15 new highly motivated scholars who will be starting middle school!

Youth Development Program Activities

  • We currently have 26 scholars participating in our Work to (L)earn work-study program.
  • For the first time this year we offered Intensive Spanish II, a two-week course for all scholars to attend to improve their Spanish – and all of the participants passed!
  • We provided 14 workshops to youth and their parents on a wide range of topics including gender equality, teamwork, decision-making, positive communication, bullying, substance abuse, dating, and hygiene.
  • Our scholars benefitted from 80 hours of computer classes, 60 hours of tutoring, and 80 hours of intensive Spanish language classes.

Our successes in 2015 are thanks to our comprehensive approach that helps our youth and their families receive the support they need to persevere and achieve their educational and life goals. Your support has allowed us to continue to improve and deepen our programs to set up scholars for success. Thank you.

We send you gratitude and warm wishes from Chajul! Happy Holidays from all of at Limitless Horizons Ixil!

Our new scholars during Intensive Spanish class
Our new scholars during Intensive Spanish class
Scholars helping with the Artisan Program
Scholars helping with the Artisan Program
Triunfadores sin Limites, our alumni group!
Triunfadores sin Limites, our alumni group!
Oct 20, 2015

Librarians Without Borders visits our library!

Participating in art activities
Participating in art activities

In September, we had the great opportunity to host Brandie and Elizabeth, two librarians from Librarians Without Borders who came to visit from Portland, Maine! We were so thrilled to learn from them, share ideas and experiences and show them our Saber Sín Límites Community Library!

Librarians Without Borders is another non-profit organization, with a mission to "build sustainable libraries and support their custodians and advocates—librarians." They have been long-time supporters of Limitless Horizons Ixil, and have sent visitors multiple times to support the work we’re implementing for our Chajulense library members.

Elizabeth and Brandie were immediately impressed by their first day at the library with our two librarians Marilú and David, and our two library interns Ana and Cecilia Jacinta. The visitors noted that it is a great space with a wide range of books, and that our librarians are doing a terrific job! "They don't even need our help, they are experts and great librarians!" even joked Brandie. But of course that isn’t true, and throughout the week, Brandie and Elizabeth met with the library staff to offer their wisdom, insights, and experience.

Everyone got together to discuss some of the challenges our library in Chajul faces, and Elizabeth and Brandie shared ideas for engaging activities and how to best support the library members and the development of literacy for Chajul’s youth. Our visitors also participated in activities with the library members including story hour, reading club, and art activities and saw first-hand how exciting and fun library activities are for our members!

We were so thrilled to have two professional librarians offer their guidance to our library in Chajul, and to have their support for the work already underway—which has only been possible thanks to your contributions. Our Saber Sin Límites Community Library would not be where it is today, with such successful programs and opportunities to host international visitors, without YOU. Our amazing library space, books and art materials, and strong library staff have been made possible by you and your fellow Limitless Horizons Ixil supporters. Thanks to your continued support, we will be able to even further develop our library with increased partnerships with organizations like Librarians Without Borders and additional resources to support literacy in Chajul!

Participating in the story hour
Participating in the story hour
Playing Legos
Playing Legos

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