Limitless Horizons Ixil

Veronica Yat Tiu, Limitless Horizons Ixil’s General Director of 15 years, is stepping down from her position with LHI. While she will be dearly missed, she is making an exciting professional transition to a new role with Focus Central America. We want to extend our deepest gratitude to Veronica for her commitment to providing high quality education to the young people of Chajul and wish her success in her new professional endeavors. 

Continue reading for a letter from Veronica, heartfelt reflections from Katie on Veronica’s 15 years of leadership, and a slideshow celebrating Veronica’s immense dedication to Chajul’s education and community development over the years.

Executive Director Katie Morrow shares her reflections on Veronica Yat Tiu’s

15 years of leadership at Limitless Horizons Ixil:

Veronica Yat Tiu is a remarkable, inspiring woman, community leader, and colleague. Veronica grew up during the end of the Civil War in Guatemala in rural Chajul and is the first woman ever from Chajul to finish her studies. She was the oldest of seven children. Although her mother was only able to finish third grade, she always supported Veronica’s education and dreams for high school graduation. During Veronica’s school breaks, they would sell tostadas together to pay for her school supplies. Against all odds, Veronica was able to secure a scholarship to receive a high school education and go on to university. From there, she worked for numerous nonprofits before we hired her as our General Director. 

When I met Veronica, I immediately knew we wanted to hire her. In 2008, four years after I founded Limitless Horizons Ixil, Veronica started as our very first paid employee in our brand new office space. From her very first day, Veronica brought heart, organizational skills, and a strong local connection with families to the position. She also served as a strong North wind, guiding the organization as we grew our programming in her home community. This programming immediately began to thrive under her stewardship, evolving from a small volunteer project to a robust educational institution. Additionally, Veronica served as a strong, indigenous, and local role model for Chajul’s girls, providing them with the confidence to dream of an education for themselves. With her support, Limitless Horizons Ixil provided many youth, particularly girls, with the opportunity for an education that they never thought they could have. 

Together, we saw so many firsts: the first girl in their entire family to study, the first girl to study math, the first girl to study computer science, the first girl to study medicine, and so many more. In 2010, we watched students open books for the very first time upon inaugurating the Limitless Knowledge Community Library, which immediately became so popular that we had to expand to an ever bigger space. Our team of two has since grown to a team of 30+ strong educational professionals, a number that continues to increase each year. 

During Veronica’s 15 years with Limitless Horizons Ixil, she has supported countless students achieve their goal of graduating middle and high school, provided accompaniment to students’ families – particularly their mothers – through mentorship and artisan program opportunities, and helped us bring educational programming to thousands of library users. During her tenure, Veronica saw more than 100 students graduate from high school and many of them go on to college. Some have even gone on to become LHI fellows, interning in our office, and securing a formal job at LHI. Veronica patiently mentored, supervised, and supported all of these young, bright graduates in their new LHI jobs, helping them to navigate their new roles, grow their capacity, and refine their skill sets. 

Throughout all of this organizational history, Veronica worked closely with me as a thought partner, colleague, and friend. Together, we joked and laughed, motivated and challenged each other, and cried on each other’s shoulders in hard times. I’ll always be grateful for the enormous professional achievements we have shared: witnessing the first generation of women to attend university, the success of our community library and the women’s artisan project, and most recently the launch of our groundbreaking middle school that we so meticulously dreamed, planned, and built side by side. Due to Veronica’s careful stewardship, we have developed a pipeline of strong leaders ready to carry the torch as Limitless Horizons Ixil charges ahead. We thank Veronica for supporting and growing LHI from our humble beginnings, for breathing life into our programming, and for giving the next generations of Ixil leaders access to such a carefully crafted educational masterpiece.

Focus Central America: Veronica is joining Focus Central America (FCA) as their Program Officer of Guatemala and Panama, beginning in April. Focus Central America funds small, grassroots organizations that address systemic issues directly. Going beyond providing services, FCA partners are changing their environments to become productive, safe, and thriving communities. All of us at Limitless Horizons Ixil are so proud that a woman like Veronica – a Maya Ixil woman from a rural community, with a master’s degree, and 20+ years of professional experience in NGO management – will be supporting grassroots organizations across the country.

Read Veronica's Letter it its Original Spanish

¡Estimados Donantes!

Reciban un cordial saludo desde Chajul. El día de hoy quiero darles a conocer sobre mi decisión de retirarme de Horizontes Sin Límites Ixil después de 15 años de trabajo. Estoy sumamente agradecida por la oportunidad de laborar en Horizontes durante tanto tiempo, verla crecer y evolucionar y compartir experiencias y conocimientos con ustedes, nuestros donadores. Escribo estas líneas con mucha gratitud hacia cada uno de ustedes quienes han estado con Horizontes desde hace muchos años y que nos han venido acompañando desde nuestros inicios. Ustedes me inspiraron y fortalecieron mi compromiso para trabajar con mi comunidad y con Horizontes en especial, me sentí muy comprometida, pero sobre todo porque sabía que contaba con el soporte de ustedes. 

Gracias por la confianza depositada en mi persona, en el trabajo y su empatía hacia la comunidad, no cabe duda de que sin ustedes no hubiéramos podido hacer todo lo que ahora ya está. Nuestro sueño se sigue haciendo realidad gracias al apoyo de cada uno de ustedes. 

Hemos crecido mucho durante mi tiempo en Horizontes y estoy agradecida porque actualmente contamos con capacidad instalada, hemos podido seleccionar a personas que están trabajando con mucho compromiso quienes comparten la filosofía de la organización y esto me llena. Me voy tranquila porque sé que el trabajo va a continuar, nuestra esperanza es que siga creciendo y pido a ustedes continuar con su apoyo para esta causa. Horizontes Sin Límites seguirá cambiando vidas a través de la Educación y  ustedes son una parte fundamental de este cambio. 

La razón de mi salida de Horizontes es que he aceptado el puesto como Directora Nacional de Guatemala en Focus Centroamérica, una Fundación donde podré apoyar a otras comunidades de Guatemala y países de Centro América y continuar mi crecimiento profesional. Estoy con toda la disposición de seguir apoyando a Horizontes desde mi nuevo espacio de trabajo.

Junto a Katie y el equipo de liderazgo, estoy trabajando mi plan de transición para dejar todo bien distribuido. Tengo confianza en el equipo capaz y talentoso que hemos capacitado y fortalecido durante los años para tomar las riendas y seguir liderando a Horizontes Sin Límites Ixil hacia un futuro brillante.

Me despido de todos con mucho respeto, cariño y sobre todo gratitud, los llevo en mi corazón con mucho cariño. 

Verónica Yat