Biblioteca Buena Vista
Biblioteca Buena Vista
Guatemala has the lowest literacy rate in Latin America. In El Paredón, a study showed that just 30% of the adult population can read and write.
La Choza Chula has been working to change this statistic for the next generation. In April 2014 we opened our Buena Vista library, built within the grounds of El Paredón’s primary school – the first ever dedicated library in the community.
The Buena Vista library plays a key role in the education of the children in El Paredón. Our librarian Gaby Perez, a local from El Paredón, has been working with La Choza Chula since 2015, trained by our Education Manager. She works five days a week, in the morning working closely with the primary school to deliver reading, writing and numeracy classes. In the afternoon, when the primary school is closed, the library hosts story hours, art classes, reading classes, movie afternoons and more.
Between 150- 200 children attend these sessions each month. When the school is closed for three months for the summer, the library has the ‘Holiday Club’ which continues the educational programmes with a peer mentoring system where students from the secondary school help teach the younger ones.
100% of teachers in El Paredón say that children’s school performance is better as a result of the library and that their teaching has improved due to access to library resources.
We have also set up a mobile library to promote reading to families who live further away and do not have easy access to the library. Since the mobile library began, it has visited over 100 families, averaging 25 books loaned each trip.
English classes are a core part of La Choza Chula’s education programme. As tourism grows in El Paredón, it is becoming increasingly important to speak English and communicate with visitors. This increases people’s chances of working within the tourism industry or setting up their own business. We have a full time English teacher who delivers two classes per week to each grade in both the primary school and the secondary school, as well as classes to our Chula Tours guides and any other community members who wish to learn English.
If you would like to donate books to to our library and help our ‘Bring a Book’ campaign, please email: email@example.com