Seventy-five percent of Guatemala's population lives below the poverty line, and apart from Haiti, the literacy rate is the worst in the Western Hemisphere. In the rural indigenous region where we work, most parents are illiterate, families survive on just a few dollars a day, only 25% of children complete 6th grade, and just 10% of students ever reach high school. We know that education can bring prosperity to low-income communities, but in much of Guatemala school is simply too expensive.
Our Leaders and Readers Program is built on the foundations of education, leadership, and literacy. This interdisciplinary program offers leadership development training and mentoring led by our Guatemalan staff in addition to the high school scholarships we provide for Maya teenagers to go to high school. In return, the teens give back to their own communities by leading dynamic reading activities for young children which allows children to develop a love, ability and habit of reading.
Working in partnership with rural, indigenous Maya communities, we leverage youth development, literacy and education as mechanisms to improve quality of life and transform the lives of participants and those around them. By creating the conditions for children and youth to discover their full potential, Reading Village empowers them to become agents of change in the world. And through continued collaboration with our partner communities, communities are beginning to break free from poverty.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
3-Minute Video: The Impact of Education