Taking Heroic Measures

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What was the last thing you risked your life for? I mean really stood in the line of danger to protect someone else? It’s not something that most of us have to do, well, ever. That isn’t the case in Guatemala. In a country that is still recovering from 35 years of genocide and civil war, every day life brings with it more risk than most of us realize. Take Rosmery, for example.

Rosmery is one of Reading Village’s very first graduates. She teaches in a kindergarten outside of town – it takes her an hour and a half to get there every day. First in a pickup down to Solola and then in a microbus where she sits or stands squished between some thirty-odd individuals all piled in a vehicle built for far fewer. She gets off at the highway exit, and then walks twenty minutes down an old dirt path through a cornfield where local gangs have a reputation for robbery and rape.

In Guatemala, roughly two women are killed every day by gender-motivated violence. Sexual assault, domestic abuse, and sex-trafficking are terrifying realities especially for indigenous women who are among the nation’s most marginalized citizens. Every day, Rosmery takes that risk to provide education for school children. Risking her life for the benefit of future generations? I’d say that makes her a hero.

Nobody understands better than Rosmery the impact that education can have on a child’s life in these parts of the world. Rosmery grew up – like most kids in her community – in a home with uneducated and illiterate parents. She arrived for her first day of first grade speaking only her native Mayan language, and her teacher spoke nothing but Spanish. So Rosmery really struggled to understand. Half of her classmates failed that year, as is the norm for first-graders in these communities. Rosmery didn’t fail, in fact she went on to be among the 10% of students who actually reached high school and then, as a Reading Village scholar, she went one step further – Rosmery graduated. And because she graduated she got a job that enables her to provide for her family. Making just $300 each month, she’s the primary breadwinner for her parents and siblings; in a community living mostly below the poverty line that’s a huge deal.

Rosmery is living proof of the difference that education can make in the lives of these children and she risks her life to show up and make that happen. This December, help us raise $10,000 in order to keep inspiring more heroes to live up to Rosmery’s model. For just $1 per hour of reading, the hours that you invest in will add up to give kids the skills to succeed in school and in life. Give a gift of $25 or more before December 31st and you will be entered for the chance to win a brand new Amazon Kindle. Join me and give the gift of literacy today.

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