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August 22, 2013

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August 22, 2013

I've been developing a relationship with Chajul, and the smaller school of CEMIK, for 10 years. I teach Spanish in Portland, Oregon and my students have corresponded with Chajulenses for years. Four years ago, we mounted a global trip with high school students and found Limitless Horizons during the research phases. We were seeking an organization that worked in a culturally-sensitive and respectful manner with the community, one comprised of members of the community and extranjeros. LHI proved to be a model NGO in this regard. After two student trips, my community is blown-away by the thoughtful and sustainable community development being carried out between LHI and the community of Chajul. As Director of Global Education at Catlin Gabel School, I can't be more emphatic in my praise for what, and how, LHI does for the genesis of the Ixil community of Chajul and neighboring aldeas. Sincerely, Spencer White

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 30, 2011

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September 30, 2011

I worked with LHI over two summers, working on their fuel efficient cook stove program while I conducted research for my PhD dissertation. They were not only gracious hosts, but integral members of the community. Every person in the Ixil community that interacts with LHI is impacted in a positive way, and they focus on community members who are in the most need of help. They are limited in the number of people they can help, but they use their money wisely and give donors "more bang for their buck" than any organization I have work with.

LHI's Program Director, Veronica Yat Tiu, and their Executive Director, Katie Morrow work well together and are constantly improving their programs. As a native of Chajul, Veronica is one of LHI's most priceless assets in the community. She is a strong leader in the community, and her work as a professional is a shining example for the many children in Chajul who struggle to afford the costs associated with going to school and just with living. Katie, as a co-founder of LHI, is just as integral, and she started LHI to give scholarships to children who showed promise in school but did not continue past the 8th grade because their families could not afford the costs of tuition.

In the three years since I have been working with LHI, they have established a very strong board, have improved their programs, built a community library, and refined the process for training staff. If they have one weakness, it is the high turnover of staff. This is one of the pitfalls of working in a remote area; it is hard to recruit quality staff for a long commitment, and while the staff members have consistently been stellar, they often only work with LHI for around 18 months. Almost a third of their time is spent being trained or training their replacement. LHI has solved this problem by hiring more local staff, which has had a very positive impact on the community, creating jobs and setting an example of professional service work.

LHI's Work to (L)earn program, or Ganar y Ganar, is a great example of how they work in partnership with the citizens they help serve. Families that receive scholarships have the opportunity to work in several capacities with LHI to create revenue that supports the families and supports LHI's operating costs. Mother's might weave scarves or create other crafts that are sold at fundraisers, generating profits for LHI and the artisan. Father's might be paid by LHI for work labor that supports the community, and students often work in the community on LHI's payroll, supporting programs such as the library and after school tutoring.

One of LHI's greatest strengths is their ability to work with diverse groups that travel to Chajul to volunteer or conduct research. In addition to conducting my research, I worked with LHI to hold workshops for teachers and teach students skills to become Spanish / Ixil interpreters. LHI also works with visiting volunteers (from Universities and other organizations) to complete service projects that improve the quality of life of Chajul's citizens. Volunteers work in partnership with LHI and have the opportunity to contribute to areas in which they have an interest.

I cannot stress enough how every penny used by LHI improves the lives of community members, and how community members don't simply receive money, but work in partnership with LHI to improve their community through hard work and well designed programs.
September 30, 2011

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September 30, 2011

I have been working in Chajul alongside Limitless Horizons Ixil as the Community Advocate for Philanthropiece for the past year and am continually impressed by the leadership, activism, and, most importantly, compassion that this organization brings to all of the projects and programs that they have thus far initiated in the community. For the last several years, LHI has been able to garner the trust of the community and, in turn, provide a wide range of needed services to a very under-served population. Both the local and international staff are a pleasure to work with and, even though my time in Chajul is almost up, I am really looking forward to keeping in contact and seeing the LHI scholarship students, and LHI itself, continue to grow and succeed in the future!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

so many ways! I've been working in Chajul for a year and have been involved in a lot of the projects that LHI has started - sustainable agriculture, introducing safe cookstoves to the community, helping out with Chajul's first and only public library, assisting with the amazing scholarship program, handling the artisan program with local women weavers, and looking for new opportunities for Philanthropiece to work alongside LHI in community identified initiatives.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

This organization works in an area of Guatemala that is very underserved within a very unique, beautiful culture. It grassroots in the truest sense of the word, working within the community and making sure that community identified needs are met and voices are heard.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 29, 2011

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September 29, 2011

I have visited this particular nonprofit on two separate occasions. Each time it is been very apparent that Limitless Horizons Ixil (LHI) has clear goals in mind, their staff genuinely cares about their clients, and the organization as a whole is well organized. The community in which LHI operates is one that could benefit from an international NGO influence, and LHI currently is doing an excellent job of providing a strong and sustainable presence in Chajul, Guatemala.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Quite well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 28, 2011

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September 28, 2011

I work for Philanthropiece that partners with Limitless Horizons Ixil (LHI) in Guatemala. As the Field Coordinator with Philanthropiece I have had the amazing opportunity to witness firsthand the wonders that LHI is producing in the war-stricken indigenous community of Chajul, Guatemala. LHI can show quantitative proof of their importance in the community. For example: increasing the percentage of high school graduates, providing economic opportunities, creating environmental education, and many others. However, what you dont see on paper is an organization that works in area that most NGO's dont want to enter. LHI is part of the community, rather than just working for the community. They have inspired HOPE and OPTIONS that never existed before.
I can honestly say that LHI is meeting unmet needs in a community that needs it the most.
Mark my words, "if LHI is able to receive the support that they need then they will continue to excel in providing HOPE for the community of Chajul."

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Working with them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Professional guidance. Have a trained expert in this field spend 1-2 weeks in Chajul and provide/implement a Strategic Plan.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

Failing is not an option. Too many locals will be affected if LHI fails.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 28, 2011

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September 28, 2011

I am a professional with many years experience in education and international development through the work of non-profits.
I came to know about Limitless Horizons Ixil, Inc.while I was volunteering with a different NGO in Guatemala..
It is remarkable what LHI has accomplished in this rural
highland area of subsistance farmers. The elder generation speaks only Ixil and is illiterate. The next generation was decimated by 30 years of civil war fought in their area. The young adults were not able to go to school, as there were no schools. it isa very difficult process to start a school in Guatemala, yet LHI has done so in a culturally appropriate way ,providing scholarships for both girls and boys, a computer lab!!!, a new library with actual books. They host Service Learning students from the US for mutual benefit. Best of all, the people in the community of Chajul, Guatemala strongly support the work of LHI, as do supporting non-profits fundraising here in the US.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the professional manner in which they interviewed my sponsored student. the interview revealed that the student's mission and LHI's mission were similar and they hope to work together in some way to achieve an increase of education opportunity in the community

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't have a comment for this section.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

The ability of the American board and staff to understand how to bring change through culturally approriate planning, hiring and activities.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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