Creating Girl Readers in Guatemala

by The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc.
Feb 18, 2011

Great impact in girls in San Carlos Sija


Juliana is a six year old girl who belongs to the K’iche’ ethnic group and whose life has been positively impacted by the library in San Carlos Sija, Quetzaltenango.  Her parents are farmers and sell their products in the local market, where they spend most of the daytime.  While her parents are working she spends time at the Library, sometimes throughout the day, where she can be comfortable and participate in a variety of different children’s activities.  Only on rare occasions can she not be found at the Library, usually when she is helping out her parents with farming tasks or house chores.  But when she is at the Library, Juliana expresses that she is happy; she participates proactively on her own will, and enjoys children’s books a lot!

The community Library is called “Fuente de sabiduría”, which means “Fountain of wisdom” and a high percentage of women, including small girls, teenagers and adults attend daily.  A girl’s book club has been formed at the Library aiming to improve their reading and writing skills, their ability to talk in public and to listen, and to develop their critical thinking.  Besides the regularly scheduled reading programs, they participate in activities that promote the conservation of local traditions, such as traditional weaving or the cooking of unique local foods using fresh and nutritive ingredients.

All these activities programmed through the Library allows the community, especially girls, to become more informed and engaged in subjects like personal hygiene, children’s rights, values and principles, cultural identity, and others which are important for personal development.  Thank you for believing in our project and supporting girls like Juliana, whom, without the Library, would have less chances of a brighter future.



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Organization Information

The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc.

Location: Princeton, NJ - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
William Cartwright
Antigua, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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