About us

Classroom with children using booksBuilding upon its mission of improving literacy in Guatemala for twenty years, Lake Atitlan Libraries (LAL) has provided support to two Guatemalan partners to fund library and literacy projects in over 100 Guatemalan communities. It has worked through Asociación Pro Biblioteca (APB) in Sololá and the Howard and Teresa Cameron Library in Alta Verapaz. In 2012 LAL added two new partners, Reading Village and Child Aid, which have experience in addressing literacy more broadly.

Reading Village and Child Aid provide solutions to problems that we have encountered in Guatemala’s struggle to increase literacy. There is a need to train teachers and provide scholarships to continue education.  LAL will receive all the funds from donors and the Daniele Agostino Derossi Foundation for these two partners, disburse the grant funding to them, oversee their progress in achieving their goals, and will provide the reports required by the Agostino Derossi Foundation.

Lake Atitlan Libraries’ Partner Goals for 2017-2020

Reading Village:

children receiving books

In its 11th year, Reading Village now has 95 teens reading to 4,750 children as part of its Leaders & Readers Program. This program provides scholarships to high school students in exchange for their working as trained reading promoters with younger students in their indigenous villages in Sololá. As part of this training, they are provided with leadership training as a resource to their families and communities

Reading promoters in three of the five communities where Reading Village works have used their new leadership skills to start the first libraries in their villages, making it easier for all kids to have access to books. LAL donors provide funding for books for all the reading promoters.  With a new four year grant from the Agostino Derossi Foundation, Reading Village is now planning to expand their model in a way that will increase positive results. Reading Village has Guatemalan employees and infrastructure that is enhanced by our help in providing more books.

website Reading Village: www.readingvillage.org

Child Aid:

Norma Guzman in the Panajachel Public Library

The key to the success of Child Aid programs is the four-year teacher training program. Many school districts have adopted the Child Aid program for all of their schools. Each school enrolled in Child Aid’s teacher training program receives multiple services.  The heart of the program is the literacy trainer who is assigned to a school and its teachers.  This trainer establishes a relationship of trust with the teachers, the school principal, and the school reading committee.  She or he conducts teacher group workshops and one-on-one trainings; teaches about the classification and use of books; models classroom management skills; helps set up reading corners and book clubs; and overall, is a resource for the entire school community.  With funding from the Agostino Derossi Foundation for four years, Child Aid will expand their program to five new schools.

website Child Aid: www.child-aid.org

The Daniele Agostino Derossi Foundation:

Children in front of classThe Daniele Agostino Derossi Foundation was created in 1991 as a memorial for this distinguished Italian entrepreneur and innovator.

The Derossi Foundation is a family foundation that funds projects where small amounts of money will make a real difference.

The Foundation focuses on the well-being of women and children in the Mayan Communities of Guatemala. The projects funded are related to education, health and the development of income-generating activities with an emphasis on weaving and textile products.

As a grantee since 1996, the Lake Atitlan Libraries has benefited from a decision of the Foundation to focus larger amounts of funding in a few focused areas that include our collaborators. 

website Derossi Foundation: http://www.dafound.org


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