|Building of Bilingual Virtual Learning Community Underway in Quiché Region, Guatemala
Expansion plans are off to a great start for former LearnLink project, Enlace Quiché in Guatemala. Under its new cooperative agreement, Proyecto Enlace Quiché is using ICTs to strengthen the training of intercultural, bilingual educators. New plans include the opening of seven additional technology centers, training of new technology center staff, and the creation of a web portal which will serve as a virtual bilingual learning community for Mayan language teachers, community members, and partners affiliated with the project.
Various partners include: The Academy of Mayan Languages, The Office of Bilingual Education in the Ministry of Education, World Learning's Bilingual Education Project, PAEBI, as well as many other local NGO's and learning institutions also working in the area of bilingual and intercultural education.
It is the goal of Enlace Quiché that these partnerships will strengthen throughout the duration of the project, and that the portal will not only become a repository of relevant bilingual educational materials, but serve as a vital communication link between teachers, community members and partners across the rural highland regions of Guatemala as well.
Mayan Educational Congress
Recent events included attendance at the Mayan Educational Congress by some of the local Enlace staff. Staff members presented the primary aspects of the Enlace Project, and how ICTs can be used to strengthen bilingual, intercultural education. Also in attendance was 1992 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and fellow Mayan, Rigoberta Menchu. Upon seeing the materials created under the LearnLink agreement, she expressed the desire for possible future collaboration between Enlace and the Rigoberta Menchu Foundation.
In addition, local Enlace staff organized a meeting in Guatemala City during the first week of October with potential partners and key stakeholders to define strategies for the construction and use of the portal. The meeting will follow up during the week of October 7-11 with a visit to the Enlace Project by consultant Daniel Light, a specialist from EDC in online community building. Mr Light will assist the local team in the actual creation of the bilingual portal. Plans for the inauguration and opening of the new technology centers are scheduled for January 2003.
EDC was awarded the G/EGAT/EIT Project on June 6, 2002 for 20 months (Award No. GDG-A-00-01-00011-00 under the dot-EDU Leader Award No: 520-A-00-02-00109-00).