‘Literacy skills are fundamental to informed decision-making, personal empowerment, active and passive participation in local and global social community’ (Stromquist, 2005, p. 12).
Guatemala has the lowest literacy rate in Latin America and in El Paredón, a study showed that just 30% of the adult population can read and write. The ability to speak English is also becoming increasingly important in El Paredón with the growing tourism industry.
The ‘Buena Vista’ Library aims to improve levels of literacy in El Paredón, Guatemala by encouraging the habit of reading, offering creative education workshops and providing a safe place for young people to come and read and play within their community.
Since opening in 2014, 100% of teachers have confirmed they have seen an improvement in the students’ abilities, specifically regarding literacy and that the library is an excellent tool for their development. The library is a vital space in the community that opens its doors to over 200 children per month, as well as providing unique personal and professional development opportunities to young people.
In order to continue delivering education programmes from the ‘Buena Vista’ Library we need to fundraise $2500. This money will help us keep the library open for a whole year, providing salaries and professional development to five local young people, buying necessary materials and resources, and covering any essential repairs and maintenance costs.
Please give what you can and help us keep our Buena Vista Library open for the children of El Paredón!
$10 - Keep our library staffed for one day! This pays for two librarians and three interns all hired and trained locally to run the library for one day.
$20 - Fund all of the library’s resources for a whole week! This includes books, art supplies, and educational materials for the children.
$50 - Keep our library staffed for a week!
$80 - Fund all of our Buena Vista Library’s materials and resources for a full month!
Achievements to date:
- Construction of the ‘Buena Vista’ Library in 2014 managed and run by trained local librarians to improve the literacy rates of young people in El Paredón.
- 2000 books for all ages in Spanish and English and teaching resources made using recycled materials
- Over 200 children visiting the library every month
- Mobile Library – fundraised to purchase a bike to reach those that cannot travel to the library due to distance or other commitments.
- Peer mentoring programme set up to train older students to give mentoring and support to younger students to improve performance in school and reduce dropout rate and early finishers.
- Summer school programme developed and implemented to provide students with the opportunity to continue learning throughout the long summer holidays
- English lessons – 20 hours per week taught in programmes in the primary and secondary schools as well as in our summer school programme, Buena Vista Library and to tour guides since April 2016.
- Dedicated English teacher hired to deliver classes in April 2016
- Dedicated Education manager hired to manage and run education and English programmes in January 2018
- English curriculum developed
- Improve Literacy rates within the communities we serve
- Increase number of books and educational resources in the Buena Vista Library
- Expand mobile library to other communities to increase the impact of the ‘Buena Vista’ Library – ‘Tuk-tuk library’
- Improve provision of education
- Implement an adult computer literacy programme
- Regular provision of field trips and extracurricular activities for staff members, volunteers, and students.
- Expand community-led peer-mentoring and after school catch up classes
- Improve quality of teaching within the community
- Grow teacher training programme to include more teachers from El Paredón and surrounding areas
- Increase the number of people in the community that can speak Grade 1 English to benefit from tourism
- Expand English teaching programme
- Develop English curriculum for all grades, tour guides and surf instructors/hotel workers
- Develop the community's value of Education
- Expand local volunteer programme to recruit and employ more local community members as part of the La Choza Chula team