Letters from Learning Journey Travelers: Cynthia

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This month we asked our Learning Journey travelers to share what it is they are grateful for. They have traveled with us to Guatemala, witnessed the impact of our work first hand, and have an intimate appreciation for the power of education, leadership, and literacy to interrupt generational poverty in rural, indigenous communities. Here’s what Cynthia had   …Continue Reading

Letters from Learning Journey Travelers: Melissa

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This month we asked our Learning Journey travelers to share what it is they are grateful for. They have traveled with us to Guatemala, witnessed the impact of our work first hand, and have an intimate appreciation for the power of education, leadership, and literacy to interrupt generational poverty in rural, indigenous communities. Here’s what Melissa,   …Continue Reading

A Dream Come True

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As the co-host on this year’s Learning Journey, I cherished the opportunity I had to intimately connect ten of our supporters to the work in which they had invested. While I do my best to connect people to Reading Village’s work throughout the year, the Learning Journey creates the perfect vehicle to directly connect the   …Continue Reading

Rainy Season

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School is in session in the Department of Solola, Guatemala.  Our youth leaders of Reading Village are deeply involved with their personal studies, learning daily how to engage young children in reading activities, and assisting their families with daily chores to keep households running.  And all of this during the rainy season. In Solola during the   …Continue Reading

A Powerful Impression

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During a group discussion on our recent Learning Journey in Guatemala, I challenged my Guatemalan colleagues to recount for our travelers any tales of impact and inspiration from their work. In that moment, my colleague Brenda, one of the Community Facilitators who mentors the youth leaders, offered an example from the community of Chaquijya, one   …Continue Reading

Story Power

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On June 6, 2016, the board of Reading Village gathered from around the country and abroad for its annual board retreat.  At 9:00 a.m., the screen lit up with 6 enthusiastic faces from Guatemala.  The miles vanished and we were sitting across the table from some of the Reading Village youth leaders.  None of us   …Continue Reading

Why Guatemala

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People often ask me why do I return to Guatemala year after year. My answer spills out of my mouth with enthusiasm these days. “Because I get to witness the work of the youth leaders and community facilitators of Reading Village.” But that is not how I got to Guatemala the first time. In 2004   …Continue Reading

Lidia’s Dreams for the Future

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When I met Lidia this past January her personality shined through in so many different ways. She said she was shy, but that’s not what I saw in this outspoken 16-year-old from the rural, indigenous Guatemalan community of Chuiquel. She was thoughtful before she spoke, but she raised her hand often to speak and voice   …Continue Reading

What Are You Going To Do About It?

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Marley Dias is like a lot of 11-year-old girls in West Orange, New Jersey. She loves getting lost in a book. But the books she was reading at school were missing something. She enjoyed Where the Red Fern Grows and the Shiloh series, but those classics, found in so many classrooms, were all about white   …Continue Reading

Atol: The Drink of Friendship

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I remember the first time I held a cup of atol in my hand. A young Mayan teen, dressed in her hand embroidered, hand woven clothing, handed me a steaming plastic cup filled to the brim with a thick light yellow liquid that smelled vaguely of corn and cinnamon. I was standing next to a   …Continue Reading