Isaias’s Story

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Isaias is a staff member of the Puerta Abierta, and spends much of his time working in the traveling library, bringing books to rural communities. Here he shares a little about his experience working with the library (translated from Spanish).

Reading is so important to me. It helps me deal with difficult situations in my life. It strengthens understanding, and it is a strong vitamin for knowledge and the best weapon against ignorance.

What I enjoy most about my work is the opportunity to share books with children in rural schools, and my amazing colleagues at the Puerta Abierta. We are like a family here; we help each other become better people and develop better teaching techniques. This is not something that you find with most teachers in our community, but we try to work with harmony, happiness, and lots of love in everything we do.

Untitled(2) In my work with the traveling library I have had many extraordinary experiences in the communities and have seen the changes the library has on the lives of the children. In Chacaya, there are not many opportunities for children, and the children I meet are always so happy to share books, sing songs, and do art projects. I always get excited to see them, and one day a child told me that even though they have no toys to play with, they are always happy when I come and sing songs and tell stories. It touches my heart and brings a tear to my eye to realize that I am able to help impact the lives of these children.

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How we came across some new ideas….

Candelaria is the original Puerta Abierta Librarian. Here she discusses a necessity of working with social organizations in Santiago Atitlan — knowing who is helping who. 

academic scholarships

Image Courtesy of “Estrella de Mar”

Image Courtesy of Pueblo a Pueblo

Image Courtesy of ADDECCAP

Recently, we visited three institutions — Estrella de Mar (Starfish), ADDECCAP and Pueblo a Pueblo (People to People) — that give scholarships to passionate young people who have already begun facing and challenging the issues in their communities.

We were curious to see how these programs worked with the scholarship students: how they select the team of recipients, how they encourage students to keep studying through all of their academic levels, and what the recipients do after graduating.  We were excited to see the real impact both the programs and the students had on the community.

All three facilities are impressive and abundantly friendly, which is good because chances are we will meet again, and being able to jump back into a conversation will allow us to be more productive, more quickly. We will have their support, and they will have ours. And together we will cultivate new programs to support these inspiring young people.

In fact, we have already begun! Each of the institutions has already offered their support for a new project….but more on that later!