Meet The Team: Olga Manuela Caba Laynez

Our women-led team is made up of inspiring individuals.

This year, we invite you to get to know more about our Chajul-based team through monthly posts!

 

Olga with library users walking through the streets of Chajul

Our librarian and Youth Development Program graduate, Olga, has worked to inspire a culture of literacy for Ixil youth since she was in high school. Despite her parents never having the opportunity to study, they always encouraged their children to pursue an education. After gaining a high school certificate in teaching, Olga began her university degree in pedagogy and teacher training. 

Since lockdown started almost two months ago here in Guatemala, Olga has been as busy as ever. Her university classes have continued online, which she describes as “a new challenge” especially now that rainy season has started and the internet connection is often interrupted. She hopes to be able to finish her courses this year, but connectivity in rural isolated Chajul makes handing in assignments and keeping up with her classes difficult.

Olga and David recording Story Hour for the local community radio station

On top of her university degree, Olga has been finding innovative ways to keep Chajul’s library users engaged. Twice a week, she and her coworker David read children’s stories on the local radio station as part of the library’s adapted bilingual Spanish-Ixil Story Hour. She is also taking the lead on weekly phone check-ins with all of our scholars’ families, noting down their needs, the state of their mental and physical health, and what actions the LHI team can take to support them.

Despite the challenges of working and studying from home, Olga remains optimistic. She demonstrates her perseverance and resilience in the face of difficult circumstances, sharing that:

“Adapting oneself to working from home is a way of fighting to confront the situation that the whole world is living. Every day, my motivation is to work hard to achieve my goals and objectives in the short and the long term.”

She continues to derive the same inspiration from introducing Chajul’s youth to a culture of literacy; she tells us that we can all “travel and explore different parts of the world by having a book in our hands.” Olga reminds us that what is difficult today can be a success tomorrow; “always remember that the magic starts with you!”

 

Thank you, Olga, for your commitment to providing learning opportunities for Chajul’s youth!