Poverty holds a strong grip on Chajul’s families, negatively impacting so many areas of their life. Fortunately, Chajul’s youth have just as many ideas to combat the problems facing their community. Our scholars’ strong desire to give back and determination to find sustainable solutions stems from the challenges they themselves experienced growing up.
Lizbeth was born towards the end of Guatemala’s 36-year-long Civil War, during which her family suffered many traumas. The oldest of 6 children, she had to grow up fast, helping her hard-working mother to cook, clean, and take care of her younger siblings in their small adobe home. She never imagined she’d get an education past elementary school — until she got a scholarship from Limitless Horizons Ixil which made it possible for her to continue!
Lizbeth graduated high school (an accomplishment less than 5% of Chajul achieve) and now supports her own family with the income she earns an Artisan Fellow in our Emerging Leaders Workforce Development Program. Now 27 and a mother herself, Lizbeth loves providing mothers in our Artisan Program with the opportunity to put their traditional weaving skills to gain financial independence and support their children. Once completing her fellowship, Lizbeth will be eligible for a university scholarship and hopes to earn her teaching credentials so that she can keep working with youth and families, while creating a brighter future for her own children.
Lizbeth is also committed to applying her education and skills to help other families in Chajul. She is a volunteer member of Chispacios, partner Starfish’s national network to support girls’ youth leadership development through service projects in their own communities. Lizbeth has been working side-by-side with mothers who have children suffering from malnutrition to plant vegetable gardens in their homes. To prepare, Lizbeth and her chapter received trainings from a local agronomist on how to start and sustain gardens as well as using alternative spaces to grow vegetables, which is especially helpful for families who can’t afford their own land.
In Lizbeth’s own words, “One of the amazing things about the project is that many mothers are now sharing what they’ve learned with other women in the community. They want to help other families reap the benefits of having a garden at home, too.”
Lizbeth decided to start her own home garden too, which provides healthy food for her family and extra income from the vegetables she is able to sell. It’s been such a success that she’s helping her mother to start one too!
“Limitless Horizons Ixil has helped me a lot in my life. Now I want to give back, which is why I enjoy learning ways to help Chajul’s mothers!”
With sincere gratitude,
P.S. Gifts of $150 or more will also enter you into a raffle to win a professional photograph of Chajul.
P.P.S. Gifts of ANY amount are incredibly appreciated — smaller gifts add up and make a big difference!