It’s International Women’s Day & we're celebrating rural women who are working hard to benefit their families and communities.
We know when a community focuses on literacy; the general health and standard of living naturally increase. However, many women in remote Guatemala only speak their native language of Q’eqchi’ and therefore they are not able to find work or go to school outside of their village where Spanish is the predominant language.
Last year we partnered with Microsoft Edge to launch Accent a digital literacy tool Aimed at helping women in Chulac, Guatemala learn Spanish as the first step toward economic empowerment. Accent is geared toward women who have no technology experience and who do not read, write, or speak in Spanish. The program is easy to use and customized for individual learning and the students have the oversight of a local woman fluent in Spanish to mentor the group as they progress in their learning.
Elsa is one of the women who has completed the training. This is her story.
My name is Elsa Marina Choc. I live in Chulac Centro. When I began to study I knew nothing about computers or Spanish. The CHOICE team came to our community, brought computers, and me and some of my neighbors began to learn bit by bit.
I now know how to turn the computer on and off and do a few simple things. I am very happy to have learned to read a little. I have had very little schooling, but my friends and I learned things in the class that we never knew. It was very exciting. I am thankful for this opportunity because I can now read and write. I feel happy about my life now that I can work with a computer.
I am thankful for the program and the knowledge. Now I have more respect from my community and I am able to participate in community committees for the first time. I am also able to look for jobs outside of my village because I know a little Spanish. I am thankful.