After more than a decade, La Puerta Abierta is proud to have remained true to its founding philosophy of empowerment through literacy and to have thrived as an educational institution over years of change. In addition to early childhood education classes and reading programs that are hosted in our center, La Puerta Abierta offers the Traveling Library Program as an outreach project for local schools and community centers.
Inititally La Puerta Abierta invited school classes to visit our library for a story hour and a creative art project connected to the book’s theme. We quickly discovered that we could work with a larger body of students by bringing our library and activities to rural schools. We also recognized that students from distant communities were limited economically to travel to our center.
Currently we work with eight schools in the outlying neighborhoods of Santiago. Participating classes receive a visit from an enthusiastic librarian from La Puerta Abierta on a weekly basis. While children receive exposure to reading and interactive activities, class-room teachers gain training in how to incorporate literacy into their curriculum.
Most schools in rural Guatemala have limited resources and books are sparse. In addition to engaging students with a story hour, our librarians also share a set of books for classroom use. Classes receive a new set of books on a weekly basis, allowing students to have a window of time to connect with stories in a meaningful way.
In addition to working with school children, the Traveling Library has been visiting our community elders’ center, Centro Juanita for over three years sharing stories and companionship with the abuelos (grandparents) of Santiago Atitlan.
During the vacation months (October-December), our staff brings the Traveling Library to community institutions such as our local health center, hospital and park to explore the joys of reading with our community.
The Traveling Library continues to bring books and literacy engagement to our partnering schools and community centers due to the generous sponsorships from donors who believe in our work. Learn more about how to sponsor a school to receive visits from our Traveling Library here.