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Empowering Guatemalan Youth to Promote Literacy



Reading Village transforms lives through literacy. Our mission is empower youth to eradicate illiteracy and lead their communities out of poverty. Where only one in ten children reaches high school, you can help us provide scholarships for Mayan teenagers to graduate. In return, the teens participate in leadership training and give back to their communities by promoting literacy with younger children. In this way, one generation of leaders is creating another generation of readers!

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

In the world today, 17% of adults are illiterate and 122 million youth don't know how to read or write. We know that education can bring prosperity to low-income communities, but in much of Guatemala education is too expensive for many families to afford. Rosmery is one of our teen scholars. Her parents are uneducated yet she aspires to be a teacher. You can help her family cover the annual school fees while empowering her with leadership skills to transform her community through literacy.

How will this project solve this problem?

Where only 1:10 children reaches high school and 50% of adults cannot read or write, we collaborate with Guatemalan communities to empower youth to eradicate illiteracy and lead their communities out of poverty. Our program provides scholarships for indigenous students like Rosemery so that they can finish high school. In exchange, the scholars participate in rigorous leadership training and volunteer each week to read aloud to children to create a culture of literacy in rural Guatemala.

Potential Long Term Impact

At Reading Village, we focus on literacy because it is not only an end in itself but also the means to other, more transformative ends like economic self-sufficiency, good health and political voice. Through our interdisciplinary design, our Leaders & Readers program increases literacy levels and educational achievement, while developing a network of young indigenous leaders who are working to break the cycles of illiteracy and poverty in their rural Guatemalan communities.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: £103,966
Remaining Goal to be Funded: £12,671
Total Funding Goal: £116,637

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


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Project Leader

Linda Smith

Boulder, CO United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering Guatemalan Youth to Promote Literacy
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