58 F
Mérida
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
###

Na’atik Institute opens English library in Maya Zone

Latest headlines

Omicron strain now dominant in Yucatán

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 now appears to be the most common form of the virus in Yucatán.

Exploring Tazumal and Casa Blanca in Western El Salvador

Though part of the Mayan world, archaeological sites in El Salvador have largely remained unvisited by all but the most avid adventurers. But this tiny country boasts several interesting sites full of unique features and blends of cultural traditions. 

Mérida slated to build nearly 100 new highrise towers

Housing and business developments in Mérida have historically been fairly “close to the ground,” but that seems to be changing.

Yucatán’s COVID hospitalizations begin to creep up

Over 3,000 new coronavirus infections were reported this week in Yucatán. On Sunday alone, 652 new cases were detected, and that's likely...
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.

The Na’atik Language and Culture Institute has an English library for its Mayan visitors. Photo: Facebook

Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Q. Roo — An English-language library is opening in the heart of the area’s Zona Maya at the end of the month.

The Na’atik Language and Culture Institute, a nonprofit that teaches English to over 200 students, will open it on Thursday, May 31.

“Opening a library here is a bit of a risk,” admits Catherine Gray, the school’s founder. “Libraries were a huge part of my childhood, but they’re not part of the culture here. The region is impoverished, books are very expensive and hard to find, so it’s rare to see people reading or even interested in books. There’s a municipal library, but the collection is outdated and its lending policies are so prohibitive that few people use it for anything other than Wi-Fi.”

Felipe Carrillo Puerto is about 60 miles inland from the beaches of Tulum and surrounded by jungle. The town and surrounding communities have a population of 80,000 with 70 percent living in poverty.

Opening a library can bring endless benefits to its students.

“Learning a language requires you to spend time working outside the classroom,” says Chris Nott, a Na’atik English teacher. “Taking a book home is a perfect way to do that. And this also helps develop the study skills and love of learning that are the key to success in everything.”

Those skills can be life-changing as demonstrated in the growing number of Na’atik alumni who are going on to university, often as the first in their family.

In addition to English courses, Na’atik offers immersion experiences in Spanish and Maya to international visitors through the Study Abroad Yucatán program. The library would not have been possible without this segment of Na’atik’s language-learning community.

Some international visitors are short-stay vacationers while others are students who study for months. Many go further by volunteering at the school and others become generous donors who have funded projects such as the new library. Ten percent of the Study Abroad program’s revenue goes directly into the nonprofit.

Na’atik will also bring on a full-time librarian to maintain the collection and organize programming. The librarian will also manage student volunteers from the local schools and the SAY program. So far three SAY students have already volunteered for the summer.

Na’atik’s name comes from the Maya expression “To’on Na’atik,” meaning “we’re understanding each other.”

For more information, contact John Pope at communications@naatikmexico.org.

The public is invited to the library’s opening 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31 in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, on Calle 57 between Calle 78 and Calle 80 (map).

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

Yucatán wakes up to a cold and windy ‘Mukul’

Mark Callum, a Mérida resident originally from England, helped this Chevy's owner move a huge branch behind the Paseo de Montejo...

Mérida Fest to go forward despite COVID-19 surge

The Ayuntamiento has confirmed that in-person events scheduled for Mérida Fest 2022 will continue as planned.

Building in Yucatán to get even more expensive in 2022

Over the past several years, construction costs in Yucatán have risen sharply and all signs point to even higher prices in 2022..

Yucatán’s top 8 street junk food favorites

Walking through virtually any city or town in Yucatán a wide range of food vendors can be seen peddling goodies out of push carts, mobile stands, food trucks, and just about every other configuration you can think of.

Mexico prepares to begin human trials of its Patria COVID-19 vaccine

Federal health authorities are calling on adult volunteers to take part in human trials for Mexico's Patria COVID-19 vaccine. 

Yucatán back to tougher restrictions as COVID continues to skyrocket

Yucatán state health department numbers show a dramatic change in coronavirus data. Yucatán recorded 459 new coronavirus...

The new Mayan Train director says the project is 7 months behind schedule

Javier May Rodríguez, the Mayan Train’s recently appointed director, says the rail project is seven months behind schedule.

Citigroup to sell off Banamex, owner of historic Casa de Montejo 

Multinational investment bank Citigroup has announced that it will sell off Banamex.

Carlos de la Barrera — international experience and local expertise

Architect Carlos de la Barrera is well known in Mérida for projects that blur the line between interior and exterior and challenge established ways of doing things locally. 

Yucatan governor predicts an end to the ‘green’ light

By Thursday, Yucatán's easy-going restrictions under the "green" light will be no more, Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal predicts.