You Can’t Imagine What Susana Has Been Through

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Like many of the teens in our program, Susana’s road to graduation hasn’t been an easy one. This 19-year old’s dreams of completing her secondary education were almost shattered when her old sister got married right after she graduated. Susana’s father was so angry that he said Susana couldn’t study anymore. Luckily, her mother supported   …Continue Reading

International Day of the Girl

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On this International Day of the Girl we want to share one of our favorite stories from Guatemala this year. It’s the story of 17 year-old Lily who entered the Leaders and Readers Program in 2016 which she says “changed my life completely”. Like many of the teens in our program, Lily hasn’t had an   …Continue Reading

10 Years of Impact

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Thanks to the 1000+ donors we’ve had over the last decade, we’ve been able to positively change the trajectory of thousands of lives in rural Guatemala. Your partnership has enabled us to invest in human capacity and interrupt generational poverty! What started with 6 teens reading to 300 children has grown over the past decade   …Continue Reading

The Truth About Teens

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  Eight years ago when we first began thinking about community-based reading promoters, a group of Guatemalan advisors cautioned us saying: “We’re going to tell you the truth about teens. You can’t build a successful literacy program that depends on teen-age kids! At that age they are just too distracted and unpredictable.” Despite warnings from   …Continue Reading

A New Community, A New Opportunity for Impact

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    On a site visit last month I found myself in Chaquijya observing our youth leaders doing reading activities with young children. It’s always refreshing to be back in the field, witnessing the impact of our work first hand and building relationships in new communities.  Chaquijya is our newest partner community in Guatemala, and it’s   …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

Fanning the Flames of Potential

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We work in a country where the dominant narrative among nonprofit organizations is about brokenness, suffering, and scarcity of resources. So, there would be an understandable impulse for an organization like ours see the teens with whom we work as “at-risk,” as people whose lives need to be “fixed,” or as individuals in need of   …Continue Reading

Our Work Has Never Been More Necessary

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If I ever saw a justification for the work of Reading Village it was this. Every year the Skoll Foundation publishes a ranking of countries by social indicators. Their goal is to create a common vocabulary among changemakers, to identify geographic areas of focus, and to celebrate successes made. This spring, the Skoll Foundation put   …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

How Reading Translates to Leading

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A few weeks ago the Reading Village Board spent an hour on a Skype call with some of our youth leaders. One of those teens was Alicia. When I first met Alicia three years ago I said to myself, “What a thoughtful, soft spoken girl.” On Tuesday I got to see who Alicia has become   …Continue Reading