Literacy and Education for All

by Reading Village
The three graduates from Concepcion
The three graduates from Concepcion

Thanks to you, this February we are feeling the love! Your generosity of heart never ceases to amaze us and continues to create positive change in rural Guatemala. With your support, we were able to provide education and leadership training to 95 teens last year and 20 of those teens graduated high school. For some, they are the first person in their family to reach that goal! 

What you may not know is that in our partner communities, 90% of youth never make it to high school due to the costs and/or their families needing them to work instead. But because of you, the teens in our program (97 this year!) are studying specialties like accounting, teaching, IT and more. They're working hard to create a better life for themselves and their communities. Something else you may not know is that with a high school diploma in the speciality of their choice, youth are able to apply for professional jobs immediately upon graduating high school. These jobs can double their family's income and put them on a path to break the cycle of poverty.

You make all of this possible. We hope that knowing of the change you're creating in the world warms your heart as much as it warms ours. 

On behalf of everyone at Reading Village, especially the youth and children in Guatemala: thank you for sharing your kind heart with us!

Warm wishes,

The Reading Village Team

The four graduates from Chuiquel
The four graduates from Chuiquel

Have you ever wondered how you can make a difference in the world? We hope you’ll remember that through your partnership with Reading Village you already are! Here are three lives you’ve directly impacted in rural Guatemala:

Susana, 19, who is taking care of her four younger siblings while she finishes high school, explains how thanks to Reading Village supporters “even with my parents living in the United States, I have been able to succeed in reaching my goals. I’ll graduate with a degree in accounting and be able to continue helping my siblings.”

Maria, 17, says if it weren’t for Reading Village, she’d be working instead of studying. As the youngest of five, her parents just didn’t have the money to send her to school. You helped change her future!

Deysi, 16, says: “I’m truly happy to be a part of this program which has sparked a fire within me and continues to open doors to build my dreams and future. My family and I are grateful from the bottom of our hearts to each and every supporter and send our sincerest thanks to you for being the builders of my dreams.”

This Thanksgiving we’re giving thanks to you! Thank you so much for choosing to change the world with Reading Village.  

In gratitude,

The Reading Village Team

Deysi and her family
Deysi and her family
Meet Florecita
Meet Florecita


Thanks to more than 150 supporters, we raised just over $53,000 during last month's GlobalGiving Match Day campaign! This gave us first place out of more than 500 organizations who participated on July 12th. We think that's pretty amazing! We think YOU are pretty amazing. The funds you invested are being used to deepen our impact in Guatemala, providing scholarships to teens just like Florecita so that they can work to break the cycle of generational poverty for their families and communities. We believe that every one should have the chance to fulfill his or her potential and because of your partnership, we're making a difference one teen at a time!


We hope you'll take two minutes to get to know Florecita by watching this video.


In case you didn't get to meet Florecita last month, we wanted to be sure to share her story again today. Because of indigenous cultural traditions that dissuade women from earning money for the family, 15-year-old Florecita almost didn’t get to attend high school. The men in her family struggle to support her family of 10 and didn’t have the funds to pay the $500 annual high school fees. Thanks to Reading Village's scholarship to finish high school and leadership development workshops, Florecita explains that her ultimate goal once she graduates is “to have a job so that I can save money to provide my children with a good education and show them that they can do anything." 

Thank you for being a part of the Reading Village family and partnering with us to change the world!

We are honored to be featured this month on the World Changers Network as an organization making a positive difference in the world. We hope you'll take two minutes to watch this Weekly Report and see some of the faces of the teens and children you've impacted through the years. Thank you for making our work possible and for helping to break the cycle of generational poverty in rural Guatemala!

How you can stay involved:

  • Mark your calendar for July 12th to participate in our fundraising campaign as part of the GlobalGiving Match Day. On July 12th, all donations up to $1,000 per donor will be matched 50% while funds last. What a great opportunity to multiply your impact in Guatemala even more!
  • Follow us on Facebook for regular updates.

We are so grateful for all that we've accomplished together in our first 10 years and we look forward to all to come in the next 10!

Wishing you a lovely Memorial Day weekend,

The Reading Village Team

Apart from Haiti, Guatemala has the worst literacy rate in the Western Hemisphere. Social and cultural prejudices show up plainly in national literacy statistics. While a wealthy male of European descent is certain to be literate, an impoverished Mayan girl has only a 30% chance of being able to read and write. Guatemala’s low levels of literacy are also the product of failing education systems and limited resources for learning. The World Bank reports that Guatemala spends just 3% of GDP on education, and because public education is not free, attendance figures are dismal with 75% of children dropping out before the 6th grade and only 10% reaching high school. Outlays for enrollment fees, uniforms, transportation and school supplies for just one child can cost half of a family’s annual income.

Within the greater fabric of Guatemala, Reading Village has focused its work on the most marginalized: rural and indigenous populations. At present, we operate within the Department of Sololá in five different partner communities. This province ranks among the nation’s lowest rates of school enrollment and advancement to the next grade. The consequences of this low educational achievement ripple out across society: 20% of the Sololá population suffers from chronic malnutrition, 43% of girls are physically stunted, 57% of the population lives in extreme poverty, and the majority of people have just one USD to spend on food every day.

Our programs develop local capacity by focusing on youth development and leadership to improve literacy, critical and creative thinking skills, higher levels of education, higher salaries upon graduating, opportunities for university studies and all the social, political and economic benefits associated with these achievements.

Our core program is called Leaders and Readers. Over the last year we have expanded our reach to 5 communities and now have 100 teens providing reading services to over 4500 elementary school children on a daily basis. 

The Leaders and Readers program activities include providing high school scholarships for teens, 15 leadership development and training workshops during the course of the year, and personal mentoring. We also hold an annual retreat that brings together the teens from all five communities, we organize field trips that expose the teens to other teen leaders and other community development projects and we provide guidance from our staff as the teens undertake their own community development projects.

The teens deliver at least three hours of reading promotion activities each week with younger children in their communities as part of the program. Some teens provide extra reading activities to interested neighbors of all ages at different times in the week. They also host small groups of Reading Village supporters once a year during our annual Learning Journey which gives our supporters the unique opportunity to see the direct impact of their partnership by visiting the teens in their villages and getting to know them, their experiences as Reading Village youth leaders and their way of life. This unique cultural exchange helps the teens to feel seen and appreciated for their work and culture as people come from thousands of miles away just to be with them. In addition, on average our teens family incomes increase by over 98% after participating in our program. We are truly eradicating poverty 1 teen and family at a time. We invite you to join us on this critical mission.



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Organization Information

Reading Village

Location: Boulder, CO - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Marcella Varley
Development Manager
Lafayette, CO United States
$292,390 raised of $500,000 goal
1,930 donations
$207,610 to go
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