Biblioteca Buena Vista
Biblioteca Buena Vista
Guatemala has the lowest literacy rate in Latin America. In El Paredon, 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 Paredon’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 Paredon. Our librarians, Paola and Mhajo, run the library five days a week. In the morning they work closely with the primary school to deliver reading, writing and numeracy classes. In the afternoon, when the primary school is closed, the library runs 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 throughout the holidays with a peer mentoring system where students from the secondary school help teach the younger ones.
100% of teachers in El Paredon 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.
2017 winner of national Feria del Libro award for ‘creativity and inspiration’ for work in our library
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 Paredon, 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, at our ‘Holiday Programme’ in the library, as well as classes to our Chula Tours guides and any other community members who wish to learn English.
In 2017, 96.4% of students in passed their end of year English exam