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Limitless Horizons Ixil, Inc.
October 7, 2011

I had the opportunity to visit with Limitless Horizons for about a week in Chajul while I was on vacation in Guatemala, and I was absolutely blown away by the work that they do and the amount of positive impact they have on the community there. Our group visited with several local families in their homes while we were there -- either to have lunch with them or, on one occasion, to learn the art of weaving -- and while these were amazing experiences for me personally, I also gained a firsthand look at the impoverished living conditions of the Ixil people and the great work that LHI does to help improve them. It was striking to see that the families live without even the most basic necessities for a healthy lifestyle, such as clean running water. But I remember particularly that most families cook their food over open fires on the floors of their homes, and the resulting smoke is an enormous health hazard to them. It turns out that most families are not even aware of this issue, since using an open fire is how things have always been done in Chajul. So LHI has a great program to combat this issue: not only do they teach and provide information to the community about these health hazards, but they also provide access to healthy and low-cost stove systems. They will even arrange for the installation! This program, along with many others like it, have huge positive impacts on the living conditions and lifestyles of the Chajulense people, and I was able to see how much these families really enjoyed and appreciated having LHI's help and support.

But I was most blown away by LHI's huge contribution in education and youth development. LHI provides scholarships for the local youth to attend school as well as providing mentoring and tutoring programs. LHI has created itself a classroom, a library, and a small computer room attached to its office, so while I was volunteering there I saw many children come and go, doing their homework, having lessons, etc. It was obvious to me that LHI has created enormous learning opportunities -- and ultimately career opportunities -- for these children where there were none before, which will have a huge impact on their lives, and the children were absolutely thrilled to be taking part in it. Chajul's first public library, founded by LHI, has quickly become a bustling community center of sorts for the youth, and LHI even organizes regular field days for the kids. (They kicked my butt in soccer.) Overall, LHI has lit an extraordinarily bright light in the lives of these children which will have lasting and far-reaching positive effects not only for the children but for the entire community. Lastly I want to mention how devoted and caring the LHI staff was. It was heartwarming to see just how much of themselves they pour into the Chajul community. They touch the lives of these families and develop close personal relationships with them, and the true reward for them is that they are able to see the positive differences that they make. They are truly motivated by a passion to help better the lives of those who are less fortunate. Please endorse Limitless Horizons Ixil and help them continue to bring positive change for Chajul and the Ixil region.

The Great!

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

the village of Chajul, where I met and visited the families and children whose lives are touched by this wonderful organization.

Ways to make it better...

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

want them to be able to provide scholarships and mentoring for more youth than they are currently able to.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I volunteered in Chajul for a week, helping in the office and interacting with local families.