library & storybooks for indigenous kids in Mexico

 Library for indigenous kids in the mountains.

We wish every child can read his/her own culture
----Steps in San Cristobal

Steps' LIBRARY PROJECT in the indigenous community in ancient Maya land Chiapas, Mexico:

@ Why

1.      in lack of education
2.      in lack of help from government.
3.      in lack of resource
4.      low literacy rate.
5.      a place to learn and read
6.      a chance to change life

@ Where

In Chiapas, Mexico there are lots of indigenous communities living in a really poor situation.
The first library we are going to build will be in the village school in community Tzajala, 
with the space:  54 m²  (6m X 9m)

@ When
Construction work:
January 2019.

@ Equipment:

1.      books
2.      stationery
3.      bookcases, tables, chairs
4.      materials (wood, bricks and concrete, light, lines…) and volunteers for construction.

@ For who:

There are about 100 families in this small community with 200 children.
For all the people in the village to use,
especially we will encourage children and women those who have no access to education.

@ Educational event:

1.      Steps' story workshop
2.      Studying group
3.      Class for women/children

@ What can you help

1.      donation of books
2.      donation of stationery
3.      donation of bookcases, tables, chairs...
4.      donation of funds
5.      share the information

(you can sent the donations to the address:
 #17 Flavio A. Paniagua, San Cristobal de las casas, Chiapas, Mexico
to:  Steps in San Cristobal )


Who Are We?
Steps in San Cristobal,
a NGO working on preserving indigenous culture into storybooks and offering basic education in Chiapas, Mexico.

Situation there 

1. in lack of educational resource and help from government.
2. indigenous children are not able to go to school out of economic issue.
3. the stories there are not well recorded and preserved.
4. in lack of reading resource, the children here don't have storybook about their culture.
5. in lack of self-identified
6. low literacy rate.

Under the vicious circle, the indigenous are not able to help themselves  but stay in a poor way in the bottom of the society generation by generation.  So we decided to record the stories here to preserve the traditional culture, to re-build self-identity and to offer basic education with workshops to teach kids how to read and write.
More over, we wish with the ability of reading and writing, the next generation can have the access to the world of knowledge, to receive more information, to extend their horizon, and then one day in the future, they will be able to help their own communities by themselves.

We wish every child can read his own culture!

Steps' projects:

1.      Storybook Project
we make indigenous storybooks for indigenous children to preserve culture and tradition. 

@Why storybook?

Story is the first connection for children to understand and construct the outline of this world. 
However, the indigenous children here don't have this chance; there's no storybook coming from their culture, but oral legends disappearing as time goes by.
Therefore, we wish we can make the storybooks about their culture for them, leading them to read, to know and re-recognize themselves.

@Situation Now 

We have 5 books from 5 communities and 3 books up-coming.
There's more than 600 children receiving our books!

2.      Workshop Project

We offer free basic education for indigenous kids.


Since the hard life, the lack of educational resource and historic background, most of the indigenous children here instead of going to school, they have to work in the street for days and nights, selling snacks and handcrafts and cleaning the shoes. After they grow up, they can only do some cheap hard works and on the force of living, they have to ask their children to work in the street as they once were. In this vicious circle, money makes its position of their priority, while culture falls into rigid touristic resource. 
Therefore to improve the situation here, we provide some simple educational workshop in the communities for free, to teach indigenous children how to read and write, offering them a key to the future.

3.      Story time Project

Besides working in the communities, we made our office into a small open museum, to share the works we do in the communities: ancient legends from kids, photos and displays of indigenous lifestyle, ritual altar, traditional medicine......


And to share the stories, the knowledge about indigenous and the way they live, we have the event STORY TIME  everyday to teach outsiders and travelers the difference, the real culture in the communities and the way to respect it.

4.     Future Project
In the future, we would like to extend our projects to all aspects in education, such as more village libraries, street classes......


San Cristobal de las casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Chiapas of Mexico, here is the great Mayan ancient territory, now remaining nothing but Mayan descents suffering and struggling in the darkness with their long broken shadows. Children are selling little things, snacks and handcrafts and cleaning the shoes for tourists since their childhood. They wander in the streets at night, with hunger, with their pale innocent faces, and with full hands of all kinds of colorful little things they sell. It is a sorrowful party.

but steps by steps, we will change the situation, as long as you are with us.


     Steps in San Cristobal

     our team


Chinchen (Amy)
Amy is from Taiwan, a traveling writer traveling and doing volunteers and projects around the world. She is the founder and the president of Steps in San Cristobal.

Flor is a local photographer from San Cristobal. Flor has worked with indigenous children for many years in all kinds of projects. 

Aleks, one of the most important partners, from the community Cancuc, helping to make the connections, workshops, organizing storytime project to share his culture with everyone.

Chio is a local writer and poet from Chiapas. Chio cares a lot about her culture and participate in lots of indigenous events. 

Chia is an artist from Mexico City. With the love to the world, Chia has worked with indigenous and children for art for many years. 

Adolfo is a local artist from San Cristobal. Adolfo has his NGO, MATI,in his neighborhood, helping the children and teaching them how to do art.

Humberto is a local writer from the community, San Andes Larrainzar. Humberto writes for the proyect and records the stories of his villages.

Carlos is a local painter from community Zinacantan. Carlos has his project, Ololetik (children in Tzotzil). making the comics for children that they can read while they are working in the street.

Volunteers all over the world



Besides donating, what else can you help Steps' projects:

1.     Talk about us, and share the information
2.     Follow our news
3.     Follow us on facebook:
         steps in san cristobal
4.     Join our Storytime while you are in San Cristobal and make a good review for us on TripAdvisor
         Steps StoryTime on TripAdvisor 


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Organizer and beneficiary

Huang Chin-Chen 
wen-yu wang 
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