Lake Atitlan Libraries News - November, 2010

Thank you for your donations last year. Despite our past efforts, many children in the Sololá region are still without access to a good education: while 86% attend Primaria (elementary education), older students often drop out and work.

Subscribe to the LAL newsletterOnly 19.6% complete Básico (grades 7-9), and only 7.9% complete Carerra (grades 10-12). For indigenous children, the rates are much lower. But thanks to government efforts in the past 3 years to expand Basico schools in indigenous communities, more children are in school working to complete their education. Some of those will continue to the Carerra programs outside of their communities. By providing textbooks to Basico schools, you help ensure that teachers and students will be successful and stay in school.

For the 2011 school year (January to October), Lake Atitlan Libraries has furnished 13 of the new Basico schools with textbooks in all subjects to help undertrained teachers achieve a better result in educating their students. I visited the school of Concepción again in February to see how books were being used by teachers and students one year later. I was impressed. Small groups of students were studying a copy of a lesson in Physics and working on questions. The textbooks are written and published in Guatemala but use the same kinds of colors, graphics and visual teaching aids to present the material as books in our schools. Students and their parents are determined to achieve a better education despite all odds. 

This year has been difficult for the children in the Sololá region of Guatemala. It began in May with tropical storm Agatha which created landslides and floods that destroyed homes. Many people died although early warnings saved many more. Also important, the rains washed away growing crops from subsistence farmers in the area. It affected the local economy by closing roads, shutting down commerce and reducing tourism, an important source of income. Then again in September the Country and Sololá were deluged with more rain, landslides, and deaths. The President of Guatemala reported that many of the recently repaired roads and bridges were washed away again. For a short time the people of Panajachel, where most of our collaborators on the Asociación Pro-Biblioteca, (APB) committee live, were cut off from travel with roads closed by numerous landslides. 

Now the rainy season is over and work of APB began anew in October. Faithful volunteer Richard Adams, despite health problems, called directors of 13 new schools from a government list that had not received LAL textbooks in the past. He received their orders for their choice of textbooks, and distributed them from his home in Panajachel. Some of the Directors came by boat since some of their roads are still shut down. Some had to travel a whole day to pick up the books and return to their communities. 

The increased numbers of students finishing primary school has led to opening up new Basico schools in many rural communities. The ambition that brings these new students into the Basico programs is still easily discouraged by the lack of text books. Because of your help, students in those schools will start school in January with beautiful inviting textbooks to share. Give now to help us continue this effort in the next school year.

Please mail your tax deductible donations to:

Lake Atitlan Libraries
449 Overlook Pass
Hudson, WI 54016 

If you send your email address to me, Louise, I will send you updates from my trip in 2010. You can donate online through our website. 

Thank you again for your support from the LAL Board! 

Rory Cameron, President of the LAL Board: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Teresa Cameron, Treasurer LAL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Louise Eidsmoe, Secretary LAL and Newsletter: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Howard Cameron, LAL Board member: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlotte Cameron, LAL Board member: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mary Hambidge and Jeri Brost, LAL Board member

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