For rural communities in Central America, opportunities to change the life one is born into are hard to find. But in Riecken Community Libraries, people of all ages find hope and opportunities, in places where both can sometimes be hard to find. Our libraries in Honduras and Guatemala help their communities play important roles on the bigger world stage.
For example, rural communities of the region have serious environmental problems to tackle: deforestation, forest fire, overly-aggressive agriculture, to name a few. Many Riecken Libraries give some focus to environmental issues and sustainability in their local programs.
At the library of Xolsacmalja, a vivero, or seedbed, and greenhouse has been built to produce plants needed in the area, that can help in reforestation.
This kind of focus also provides positive influence on choices young people in the region make. One young woman of Xolsacmalja decided to study Forest Engineering after two years as a library volunteer, during which she helped to build the seedbed and learning about the critical role of such projects to the planet. Becoming a professional in the field is now her dream.
The Community libraries are betting that early childhood children can grow in a healthy environment, being home, school and community, the key areas where critical knowledge and values for life are acquired.
The libraries offer good infant feeding practices through reading, in coordination with health centers, responsible for the size /measurement of children and mothers as well as the diagnosis and findings in the growth of children. The interaction between mothers and parents with the child and community participation is essential.