From Books to Brilliance (FBTB) will create access to educational resources for Mayans living in the isolated river-village of Seacacar. With no electricity or running water, life echoes that of their ancestors. But life has changed. Fewer trees and animals in the forest, and fewer fish in the river, make survival more difficult. "Without education we cannot save our home, and our children need jobs," says Juan. FBTB partners with Rios Fund to support education, reforestation and job creation.
Seacacar is isolated. This rain-forest village lies on the banks of the Rio Sauce beneath the steep mountains slopes. Its 350 citizens survive by hunting, fishing and gardening. Deforestation makes survival even more challenging. An elementary school exists but without educational resources. A recently founded middle school offers grades 7 to 9, but lacks books as well. Many under-educated youth leave the village in hopes of finding a job in a city. Many stay, continuing life in poverty.
Seacacar has already accomplished much. A lodge offers accommodations to tourists who wish to discover this river paradise. Citizens recently planted 10,000 tropical saplings and plans to reintroduce species move forward. FBTB will support learning by providing books and educational resources. Upon completing grade nine, students will have the opportunity to study at Ak' Tenamit, where they study eco-tourism and environmental sustainability, thus creating jobs in their own village.
Seacacar will be the seat of education for all 14 villages in the Rio Sauce Watershed, where hundreds of children will attend school. Qualified teachers will inspire these bilingual students with culturally appropriate resources. All will have access to a wide variety of books and information in a solar-powered library. Knowledgeable local guides, speaking several languages, will introduce tourists to this river paradise. Mayan youth will have the opportunity to thrive in their ancestral home.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
An overview of the Natural Reserve in Seacacar
Canon Seacacar Mayakakaw - musical, Spanish text
Ak' Tenamit, a high school for Seacacar students
Meet the Students of Ak' Tenamit - English