Rija’tzuul Na’ooj Community Library
The Rija’tzuul Na’ooj Community Library’s mission is to be an up to date space, with a dynamic and attractive environment where users can read, research, learn and discover new alternatives to their problems. The Library recently won the EIFL-PLIP Innovation Award for Libraries Empowering Women for their project on building business and ICT skills of talented women weavers so that they can make a profit from their work. THeir work focuses in preserving the Mayan culture, empowering girls and women, improving the livelihoods and doing digital literacy campaigns. It’s part of the Riecken Community Libraries Network.
San Juan La Laguna Municipality
San Juan La Laguna is a community where 98% of its population is indigenous Maya Tz’utujil and K’iche’. Our language is Maya. Our town has three villages located in the mountains and it has approximately 14,000 inhabitants. Our people live mostly out of the cultivation of coffee, corn, beans and vegetables. The women weave with looms attached to their waist and elaborate typical clothing and handcrafts to support the family income. We live on the edge of the Atitlán lake. The Municipality of San Juan La Laguna supports the work of the Library by providing librarians who assist the community users.
Open access to information and knowledge is critical to civic engagement and prosperity in Central America. Using principles of social entrepreneurship, The Riecken Foundation doing business as Riecken Community Libraries, helps transform a simple building block — a community library with free internet — into a springboard for democracy building, leadership development and social justice. Riecken Community Libraries empower people by enabling them to access and use information and technology as tools for the future. The Rija’tzuul Na’ooj Community Library has received from its beginning the support from the Riecken Foundation.