Limitless Horizons Ixil is creating opportunities for the indigenous youth, women, and families of Chajul, Guatemala, to develop the academic and professional skills needed to effect change in their lives and community.
Our mission is to create opportunities for the indigenous youth, women, and families of Chajul to develop the academic and professional skills needed to effect change in their lives and community.
Our vision is for the Ixil region of Guatemala will be a productive, self-sustaining community with job opportunities, a solid infrastructure, and affordable living costs while retaining its Mayan traditions, heritage and language of Ixil.
The services we currently offer are:
- Financial support
- Academic and personal development trainings
- Book club
- Computer classes
- Therapy sessions with a psychologist
- Reinforcement classes in math, communication and language, and English
- Emergency support during COVID-19: food baskets, therapies, information on hygiene and prevention
Our program offerings include:
- The Youth Development Program supports ambitious youth (66% girls) grades 7-12 with financial scholarships and wraparound services to help them succeed.
- Our Emerging Leaders Program provides Youth Development Program alumni with career development opportunities, fellowships, and ongoing support in their post-secondary transitions to university, employment, or entrepreneurship.
- The Saber Sin Límites (Limitless Knowledge) Community Library offers the entire community of all ages access to over 9,000 books as well as weekly activities including story and cultural hours, book clubs, art activities, tutoring, and homework help.
- We also have a craft program. The mothers of our students knit typical fabrics such as huipiles, shawls and scarves, in addition to working with beads to make jewellery (bracelet, earrings, necklaces, etc.)
Educational access and retention for Maya Ixil youth - only 5% of youth graduate high school in Chajul. With our Youth Development Program and library support, over 50% of LHI scholars graduate from high school. Two thirds of our program are girls, changing the prospects of early marriage and adolescent pregnancy for girls in Chajul. In 2019, 68% of our female graduates were working or studying, up from 50% in 2018.
Since 2004, we have directly supported 226 youth in attending secondary school and transitioning to the workforce through scholarships and wraparound services. Our community library has offered visitors a safe study environment, literacy programming, academic support, and access to 9,622 books and other resources. We currently have 476 active library users; in 2019, library members participated in 78 story hours and Ixil-Spanish cultural story hours, and 50 hours of STEM classes.
We conduct regular focus groups to collect qualitative data on our impact. We have a staff member responsible for M+E, including quantitative data on participation and assistance, as well as academic retention and attainment. We conduct at-home, in-person interviews with our scholars and families to learn about the impact of our programs in their lives.
Size and/or structure
Our staff team has grown as well as the number of beneficiaries.
We created the Artisan Program in 2009 and the Saber Sin Límites Community Library in 2010.
In 2018, we launched the Emerging Leaders Program for alumni of our Youth Development Program.
For more details on changes over the first decade of the organisation, please see:
https://limitlesshorizonsixil.org/history/ (this webpage will be further updated with more recent changes shortly)
We aim to grow our short term emergency relief, including food baskets and educational support through digital means. We are also responding to the immediate and pressing needs of our scholars, so that they can continue their studies - we are covering the costs of internet for our scholars so that they can access our workshops and reinforcement classes and have increased financial support during this time.
We are trying different virtual platforms to find the best quality option for academic reinforcement classes online given the difficulty of internet connectivity for youth in Chajul.
By providing story hour on community radio, we are aiming to have a wider impact in the community by reaching children and youth who do not normally benefit from library services in person. We also aim to continue to engage all of our scholars and achieve the same impact in terms of academic retention and attainment, despite the difficulties of being out of school and enduring lockdown at home for most of the 2020 school year.
We are an education organization designed to prepare passionate and innovative young people to contribute to the sustainable development of their families and community through a high-quality educational experience centered on academic excellence, critical thinking skills, gender equality, and community leadership.
Some of our long term objectives include:
- Access to university. At least 80% of graduates pass admission exams for USAC.
- Enrolment in higher education. At least 75% of graduates enroll in university or technical programs within three years of graduating.
- Economic security. At least 60% of employed graduates earn the national minimum wage or above (a high bar for Chajul) by age 25.
- Reproductive autonomy and delayed childbearing.
- 90% of graduates do not have children until age 23 or higher.
- 90% of graduates do not get married until age 23 or higher.
- Reduction in gender bias among youth and adults in LHI community. 100% of graduates and staff demonstrate positive attitudes toward gender equality policies and practices.
- Women's economic empowerment.
- The number of women-owned businesses in Chajul increases.
- 60% of employees hired by graduates are women.
- The employment gap between male graduates and female graduates decreases over 10 years.
- Culture of literacy. Our library continues to grow and reach more children, youth and adults in Chajul with a range of integral educational services.