• Changing the Norm

    In the communities where we work, fewer than 10% of students finish high school. Our teens are the exception, but with your help we can change the norm. These young leaders stand in the center of a circle of change. They are setting new standards, challenging old ways of thinking, and bringing prosperity to their communities. When you invest in one of our scholars, like Francesca pictured here, you invest in the future of the world around them.
  • 56 Teens. 3,000 Children.

    Promoting literacy is a diverse and interdisciplinary effort. Our teen reading promoters, are students, teachers, and leaders all at the same time. In six years, Reading Village has provided scholarships and leadership training to more than 50 Guatemalan teenagers. Collectively, they’ve reached 2,000 children.
  • It Takes One to Know One

    Our Leaders and Readers program is directed by Daniel Guzmán. Father figure, teacher, and friend, Daniel’s expertise has been integral to the growth and development of our teen reading promoters. With more than 30 years of experience in the Guatemalan education system, Daniel has been the corner stone of our growth and continues to be our local leader.
  • Inspiration In Spite of Limited Resources

    By providing scholarships, securing educations, and facilitating opportunities for leadership development, we position communities to chase their own dreams. Time and time again we are inspired by our teens' ingenuity. Thinking creatively and critically, one generation of leaders is creating another generation of readers.
  • Empowering Young Leaders

    This year we have 40 reading promoters working and learning in three different communities: Concepción, Chuacruz and Los Morales. In the next twelve months we are preparing to add two new communities and 25 new scholars. Collectively, this expansion will help us reach more than 1,500 more children. By 2020 Reading Village plans to be in 30 communities across Guatemala, but we need your help to get there!
  • Learning Begins with Literacy

    Literacy is a gateway to participation in an increasingly global society. It is a way to good health, informed parenting, economic sufficiency, political voice, and achieving our dreams. But in the Guatemalan communities where we work, most adults cannot read or write. Your investment enables teenagers to plant the seeds of literacy by reading, inspiring, and mentoring children in low-income communities.
  • A Town’s First Library

    In 2012, several of our teen reading promoters announced that they’d be building Concepcion’s very first library. In a community where before there weren't even books, town leaders, parents, teachers, and students came together to refinish an old space that now houses shelves of great reading for everyone to share! Even better? This library is now seen as a model for similar projects in Los Morales & Chuacruz!
In high income countries, reading and dreaming are luxuries to which we rarely give a second thought. Each of us learned to read because an adult sat us on his/her lap and read stories of flying carpets, giant peaches, and fairy godmothers. Our imaginations ran wild with possibility, and just as quickly as dreams were born those same adults gave us the skills we needed to chase even our wildest ambitions.
  • 5 Communities
  • 9 Years
  • 126 Youth Leaders
  • 5000 Children

Our Leaders and Readers Program provides teens with four years of mentoring and regular, multidisciplinary leadership development workshops along with the opportunity to put their leadership into practice through leading reading activities with children in their villages. Youth leaders, seeing the impact they have on the children in their community, are transformed. They find self-worth, confidence and a new vision for their community that sparks their initiative to become leaders in other areas of their lives.

The 65 youth leaders currently in our program are reaching 3,250 elementary-school-aged children with three hours of reading activities each week. As a result, these children love to read, have improved Spanish comprehension skills (Spanish is their second language), as well as their critical and creative thinking skills – skills that will serve them the rest of their lives.

Our youth leaders are also getting an education. Because the cost of attending public school is more than half an average family’s annual income, only 10% of students in the Department of Solola attend high school. Participants in our program receive a full four-year high school scholarship. And when they graduate they are capable of doubling their families’ incomes. In 2015, 78% of our alumni were employed and 40% studied at university.

And these youth are using their education and leadership skills to improve their communities. To date, youth leaders in two of our partner communities have opened their first-ever public libraries and continue to run the libraries through the boards that they created and on which they volunteer. Our teens are class and school presidents, sports team leaders and church youth group leaders. And two alumni will complete a three-year fellowship this year that will end with their opening a branch of the innovative Asturias Academy, an opportunity for higher quality education in their region.

To learn more about some of our youth leaders and alumni click here >>