Back in October, we announced the completion of a new library in the remote village of Xojolá, Guatemala. The project was completed thanks to funds provided by our partner organization, Miracles in Action. With the new facility, the Xojolá library can now host reading programs for more than 110 children a day. The original building could only accommodate about 12 children at any given time.
Last week Dr. John van Keppel, Child Aid’s National Director in Guatemala, had the pleasure of attending the library’s official inauguration with members of our literacy team.
In typical Guatemalan fashion, the library inauguration quickly turned into a celebration for the entire community. Speeches and words of gratitude were given by various dignitaries, such as the local school director, the mayor and Child Aid staff. Even the library committee’s president offered a short presentation on where library support came from, and how it truly has been a joint effort – funds from Miracles in Action, land from the mayor, desks from the coffee cooperative, new books from Child Aid and infinite donations of time and resources from the community.
“The community is very proud of their accomplishment and extremely grateful for the funds from Miracles in Action and the assistance from Child Aid,” stated John. van Keppel. “This inauguration was a great opportunity for the community to see how, by working together, people can really make their dreams happen.”
Not only were adults present at the inauguration, but many children as well. They wanted to share their gratitude and excitement for the new library by offering traditional dancing and other artistic performances to the public. Children who had been participating in Adventures in Reading showcased their newly learned reading skills by reciting poems and re-enacting storybooks.
We would like to extend our gratitude to our friends and supporters who helped make the library project successful. “Besides providing a library, the project has instilled a greater sense of confidence in the community,” said John van Keppel. “It has become a model for various sectors to work together and has given the community hope that their children’s futures will be better.”