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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Limitless Horizons Ixil, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Economic Development, Education, Microfinance, Rural Economic Development, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Limitless Horizons Ixil creates opportunities for the indigenous youth, women, and families of Chajul, Guatemala, to develop the academic and professional skills needed to effect change in their lives and community.

Target demographics: indigenous youth, women, and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 60 Ixil Maya youth to continue their education and participate in youth development activities, as well as nearly 1,600 registered library members.

Geographic areas served: Chajul, Quiché, Guatemala

Programs: a Youth Development Program incorporating a wide array of personal and academic support services, and the first and only public library in Chajul.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First i will like to say Thank You to the staff at LHI for taking the time out and showing me the community of Chajul. Being on this trip allow me to try new things and see the world in another way. Staying in Chajul gave me the opportunity to experience the lifestyle that many of the people there live. i was able to try their food, wear their traditional clothes, learn the native language , and help build a wall in one of the schools. The time that I spent there made me appreciate the little things like making the kids smile, one of my favorite thing that I did on the trip was the reading/ game workshop. That was my favorite thing because I was able to bond with the kids and see them build the solar system puzzle together. It was a fun moment for me and I will always remember it. Thank you once again LHI for an amazing experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent a week in Chajul volunteering with LHI, so I saw first hand the tremendous impact LHI has on the community. The leadership has a very clear vision that is community-driven, sustainable, and purposeful. The dedication of the local staff had a particular impact on me and I was inspired by their commitment to LHI and it students. LHI is truly a fantastic organization and is doing what is says it does.

Andy28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LHI is an incredible organization and does fantastic work with and for the community of Chajul. I believe that much of their success is a result of strong and invested leadership as well as collaboration with the citizens of this town. This buy-in yields sustainability and that makes me all the more eager to support LHI socially/physically when in Guatemala, and fiscally when I am not.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Limitless Horizons Ixil has been a wonderful experience where I have had the opportunity to meet and work with the passionate and committed staff. It has been great to see how the scholarship recipients and staff members have created a supportive and caring community that is positively influencing Chajul. The staff at LHI have been warm and helpful and I have really felt welcomed into Nebaj and Chajul life. It has been a pleasure volunteering with LHI and I look forward to working with them in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LHI does great work in Chajul. Their staff are committed and professional. Helping with their programs was interesting, educational, and rewarding.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I discovered LHI when I was looking for places to volunteer in Central and South America, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to spend 6-1/2 weeks with them in November and December of 2013. LHI is comprised of local (Chajul and Nebaj) and US staff, and they are a deeply committed, smart, hard-working, passionate, close-knit, generous and funny team of people. During my time with LHI, I got to experience first-hand how thoughtful they are about the development of their program and the realization of their organization's goals. They make excellent use of their resources. Their support is critical for the scholarship recipients who, without LHI's support, would be e.g., working in the fields or washing laundry for a living instead of attending school. (I know this because i had the opportunity to interview most of the 50+ scholarship recipients.) The families of scholarship recipients are likewise supported in a variety of ways, so LHI's impact ripples far out into the community. The library that is run by LHI is a buzzing hub of happiness for the children of Chajul, who show up excited to read, draw, go on library-sponsored local outings, do handcraft activities, etc. LHI is doing important, culturally respectful, meaningful work to help Chajul lift itself out of poverty, under-education, and limited opportunities. I recommend it as an organization to support, and as a place to volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Limitless Horizons Ixil is a wonderful organization that provided me with the opportunity to make a difference in the community of Chajul, Guatemala. The organization's staff and volunteers care deeply about youth and families they serve. I was particularly impressed by the depth of involvement of LHI in ensuring each student's academic success. Rather than simply giving out scholarships, LHI, recognizing the obstacles that the recipients face, offers intensive Spanish classes, computer training, and community-building activities. LHI's public library, where I volunteered during my time in Guatemala, is a particularly wonderful resource for the community. I saw firsthand how much the children and adults enjoy the wealth of resources available for them in the library. As a teacher, I know how important access to books is in a child's development of literacy, and LHI's expanding public library is helping children in the Ixil region gain literacy skills every day.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been volunteering with Limitless Horizons Ixil (LHI) for almost 2 months. I was interested in this organization because of the work they do, connecting indigenous Mayan youth with educational opportunities. I have had a great experience so far. Everyone on the team (local and international staff) has been welcoming, and supportive of my goals in studying Spanish in addition to wanting to contribute to the organization. Volunteering in this role has been really interesting, I have gotten to participate in a wide range of tasks; from painting at the library with the students to translating to photographing crafts. Its been a good balance of my skills and their needs.
Overall, the thing that has impressed me most is the dedication of the staff to see these students, and in turn this community, succeed. Currently serving approximately 85 students, LHI seems on the brink of expansion in the future. Easily a worthwhile organization to connect
with and donate to; I can see firsthand how the money is well spent. Education is changing lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What moves me so about Limitless Horizons Ixil (LHI) is how responsive the organization is to the needs of the students and families it serves. This responsiveness is possible only through a deep understanding of the culture and history of the people in the Guatemalan highlands communities. The students are not only given a chance to attend school, but they are also supported and nurtured through “wrap-around” services (counseling, tutoring, a new public library, developing wage-earning skills, etc.) that make staying in school work for them. I am a volunteer videographer who has interviewed some of LHI’s students and their parents. What moves me is the students’ dream of becoming able to transform their families and their communities -- to evolve from malnutrition and subsistence agriculture to a place with a cadre of educated, able young people. The students are doing the work; LHI is providing essential supports. The students’ parents confirm that they never had a chance to learn to read or write, and that their childhoods were spent trying to survive the civil war. LHI is bringing hope and possibility to a place that really needs it, a place so linguistically and geographically isolated that few other organizations have been willing to work there.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I literally stumbled upon LHI while on a visit to Guatemala in the spring in 2011. Upon arrival to their Chajul office, I was warmly greeted by LHI staff (Guatemalan and American alike), eager LHI scholarship recipients and other community members.

During my time in Chajul, I had the opportunity to assist in the filming of a documentary about the work LHI is doing in the community. I also helped by gathering and organizing data related to the membership and usage of their public library project "Saber Sin Limites".

While my volunteer-stay was unanticipated and relatively short (I spent 2 weeks with LHI in total), I felt like I really got to know LHI's mission and their projects quite well. The staff are passionate, dedicated and energetic. They enjoy a hear-earned respect by the people of Chajul and are well-loved by many--particularly the scholarship recipients.

I was so inspired by my time with LHI that I helped to coordinate a service learning visit there with a group of American teenagers who were visiting Guatemala with the experiential education organization I work for, Where There Be Dragons. The "Dragons" kids reported an expertly designed and executed service-learning program in which they felt they really integrated with their Guatemalan counterparts and even participated in the community's first-ever home stays.

This is a dynamic office, and the bi-national, multi-lingual staff are well-aware of the needs to be flexible, patient and collaborative in working in the Ixil region in Guatemala.

I highly recommend this organization to potential donors, volunteers and other supporters!