MAY 6, 2015
MEXICO CITY—Three schools in Guatemala requested publications from Jehovah’s Witnesses for use in their curriculum. The Witnesses responded by donating a total of 3,500 pieces of literature in Spanish and Quiché. Quiché is an American Indian language of the Mayan family, spoken in the western highlands of Guatemala.
The schools contacted Jehovah’s Witnesses because they are one of the few organizations that produce literature in Quiché and several of their publications address issues that Guatemalan youths face. In an official document from the Official Rural Coeducational Elementary School in Paraje Xepec, Professor Maria Cortez outlined that the literature was requested “to rescue the values and moral principles that are much needed in society.”
Recent studies indicate that criminality and violence among youths is prevalent throughout Guatemala. For this reason, organizations in Guatemala such as the Violence Prevention Program (VPP) have been created with the goal of engaging “students, parents, educators, local authorities, and civil society to plan safe zones around schools and provide activities and vocational training for youth[s] and young adults.” In line with these initiatives, the National Institute of Basic Education with Agricultural Orientation (INEBOA), the Elisa Molina de Sthall Official Rural Coeducational School (EORM), and the Official Rural Coeducational Elementary School in Paraje Xepec, requested copies of My Book of Bible Stories in Quiché. The INEBOA also requested the Witnesses’ youth-oriented publications Volumes 1 and 2 of Questions Young People Ask-Answers that Work in Spanish. The school gave copies of the books to parents so that they can help their children prepare the homework lessons for culture class. Additionally, the school added the video The Prodigal Returns, produced by Jehovah’s Witnesses, to their curriculum.
Erick De Paz, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Guatemala, states: “While our primary focus is to share our Bible-based message with people in their homes, we are happy that our publications are useful to teachers and parents for helping young people.”