Promoting democracy and human rights through education and libraries in Guatemala
A presentation by Jorge Chojolán (Miguel Angel Asturias Academy, Guatemala)
Jorge Chojolán, an internationally recognized educator and human rights activist, is the founder and executive director of the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala. The Academy is a non-profit K-12 school that since 1994 has worked with organizations and universities in the United States and Canada to provide scholarships for children from impoverished families.
Jorge’s story and the story of the Academy are an example of how a person with a vision can inspire a movement capable of transforming a community.
Born into a Mayan family in Guatemala, Jorge earned a university degree and went on to found the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in the predominantly indigenous city of Quetzaltenango (Xela). His goal is to transform his society through education at the school by educating and empowering some of Guatemala’s most vulnerable children: girls, the indigenous and the poor. Mr. Chojolán will discuss the importance of education to democracy in Guatemala and speak about the Academy’s unique educational model.
The Asturias Academy is dedicated to providing alternative education to the children of Xela. Inspired by the work of Brazilian author Paulo Freire, the school aims to inspire a broad change in Guatemalan society by addressing taboo subjects such as human rights, gender equality, political oppression, environmental awareness and multiculturalism.
It is the vision of the Asturias Academy to be the model and the vehicle through which Guatemala’s education system is transformed so that all children:
- have access to a quality, culturally relevant education
- lead dignified lives
- engage in the social, economic, and political problems confronting their communities and country
Over the past few years, the Academy has worked with organizations like Librarians without Borders, The Global Fund for the Children and The Ashoka Foundation to expand its school from a small one-floor building with four classrooms, to a three-story building with a library, computer lab, engineering workshop and a library with over 3,000 cataloged books.
Please join us and hear Jorge’s inspiring story!
When: Tuesday, November 13, from 6 to 7:30 pm
Where: St. Mike’s Muzzo Family Alumni Hall (121 St. Joseph Street, Toronto)
Cost: no charge or RSVP required
Everyone is welcome! Please note that the presentation will be delivered in Spanish and simultaneously translated into English.
Please donate to the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Guatemala (Librarians Without Borders event)
For related stories, please see:
- iSchool Students Help Spread Literacy in Guatemala
- iSchool Students Contribute to Literacy Development
- Librarians Without Borders Flickr page
- Need magazine article
"Librarians Without Borders is not in any way affiliated with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders is a registered trademark of Bureau International de Médecins Sans Frontières."