Remarkably, there are people all over our great United States that are deeply concerned about the health, education and general overall well-being of others around the world less fortunate than we are. Although many of us have experienced the woes of this down economy for the past few years, it is unlikely that the mass majority of the United States population have had to face no fresh water, no food and a downright lack of education. Can you imagine a world without books?
Linda Smith, the Founder and Executive Director of Reading Village can provide witness to the destitute nature of people from countries other than America. Smith realized that these same individuals have the creativity, spirit and resourcefulness to make their world better, if only given the means to begin.
Reading Village is the answer. In 2006, Ms. Smith brought forth her dreams of an organization that would show some of the most impoverished and uneducated children in the Western Hemisphere the sheer delight and power of reading and bring to them the instruments to create a better life for themselves.
Reading is one of the most powerful tools we can use to stave off the throes of a marginalized community. Reading Village searches for emergent teen leaders in Guatemala. Financial support that is supplied allows these kids to finish high school and develop leadership skills. With this backing, the teens’ lives are changed, granting them leadership skills so that they can pay-it-forward and change the lives of those in their communities; younger siblings that learn from their efforts, their families will be equipped with needed monetary funding and their communities can grow by their knowledge.
After the initial year, Reading Village discovered that part of the reason for the lack of education was a lack of access to books, so in 2007 they brought book donations to low-resource communities. Literacy programs have grown and developed from six reading advocators and a few dozen donated books. They currently have over 50 teens and alumni, thousands of children and not one but three incredible communities in which they spread their aid and innumerable books supplied for those in need.
This Colorado-based non-profit organization is just getting started. Twice each year they select 10 travelers to go on a trip of a lifetime to the heart of the rural communities that Reading Village currently serves. These 10 lucky individuals are offered an experience of a lifetime while learning what this great philanthropic organization accomplishes.
The trip will entail an eight-day excursion to rural Guatemala, the opportunity to explore the colonial town of Antigua, ancient Mayan ruins of Iximche beside a coffee cooperative on Lake Atitlan while experiencing the traditions and daily life of rural Mayan families. The bonus is that these select individuals are able to work right alongside the Reading Village staff and scholars in their literacy promotion activities.
The opportunity is quickly approaching. The trip is scheduled for April 25th through May 2nd. Check them out today by visiting their website: http://readingvillage.org/. See how you can get involved today!