There is a crisis in Central America
Compared to other nations, Guatemala and Honduras show the lowest levels of development in Latin America. A majority of their citizens – particularly in remote and indigenous communities – live in poverty, unable to take care of the most basic needs. With the lowest literacy rates in the region, high unemployment, and an environment where violence and gang activity is on the rise, massive emigration to other countries, often illegally, is creating its own set of challenges.
Riecken Community Libraries help solve these problems, offering safe places where anyone can come to read, have access to information technology, and participate in dynamic programs relevant to the community. Our unique partnerships between local community, municipal government and the Riecken Foundation maximize all resources, including your contributions.
80% of Riecken library users are children and youth who are learning that reading is fun and enjoyable, and can help them learn about the world. They are in constant need of replacement – and in the case of new libraries, entire collections need to be purchased. Libraries are also in need of E-books ($5 ea) and printed guides for Girl Readers programs ($15 ea) are in badly needed as well.
Three-day librarian training sessions include topics such as: promoting reading for pleasure, learning about and teaching others to access technology, managing a community library, and other programs for library staff.
New technology equipment and digitalization of library services require strong Internet in each library. Local providers serve these rural and often remote communities best with cable or dish technology.
Many Riecken libraries in our network are more than 15 years old. To protect the technology equipment, books and library users, many roofs need urgent repairs and in many cases, replacement.
Of Riecken Library users surveyed: