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Chocola, Guatemala Computer Lab and Reforestation

At Riester, we have always been inspired by the work of Seeds for a Future, a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving the lives of the people in Chocola, Guatemala. The organization is helping to create sustainable opportunities for people in the region.

In 2012, the Riester Foundation Board donated 10 computers and monitors to Seeds for a Future. For years, the Foundation has worked with Seeds for a Future to fund reforestation and economic sustainability through the transition from coffee to cacao production — a much more profitable endeavor for this region. With the computers and monitors, we were suddenly able to plant the seeds for a better education.

After arriving in Guatemala, the computers were set up with operating systems and software necessary to access a Spanish-language digital library. Spanish-language keyboards were installed. Computer furniture was built. Staff were trained. And now, the town of Chocola has a public computer lab serving the community and local schools.

In addition to opening up a whole new world for children, the computers have created learning opportunities for adults with limited literacy through access to audio-visual tools that offer practical training in such areas as family health and income-producing activities.  Community members are learning how to improve their lives, diets, health care and gardening.

The word from Chocola is that there is a great enthusiasm and joy at being able to learn how to use a computer. Classes are held regularly, and a trained staff is available whenever needed to help people advance their learning.

In 2017 The Riester Foundation donated 10 more computers increasing the capacity to serve even more people in the community.  More computers will be donated in 2018 to support the work of Seeds for a Future.