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September 09, 2021

ProBAR Expands Know Your Rights Resources with Mayan-Language Videos

ProBAR is excited to announce the creation of two new Know Your Rights resources for children we serve who speak Mayan languages. These new animated videos narrated in K’iche’ and Mam have recently been incorporated into our work and have already proven to be incredibly helpful.


Know Your Rights (KYR) presentations are often the very first contact that the ProBAR team makes with unaccompanied children detained at Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) facilities in the Rio Grande Valley. Presented prior to intake sessions and immigration court, KYR allows children to learn about the rights that they have in the United States and to build an understanding of processes relevant to their immigration case. These presentations also serve the critical purpose of empowering children to engage in their immigration process and develop successful client-attorney relationships in the future.

ProBAR serves children who come from many different geographical areas, but the vast majority of children we serve are originally from the Northern Triangle of Central America – an area that includes the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Spanish is the language preferred by most of the children; however, around 10% of the children served by ProBAR are most comfortable speaking a Mayan language.

For many years, ProBAR staff have worked with interpreters to provide children who speak Mayan languages with KYR information, representation, and other legal services. Nonetheless, the team sought to develop a creative, child-friendly, and engaging response to the language needs of this important population of unaccompanied children.

ProBAR staff collaborated with an animation studio and with volunteer narrators to create children’s Know Your Rights videos in both K’iche’ and Mam – two Mayan languages commonly spoken by the children with whom we work. Our team drew inspiration from the We Have Rights video resource series and developed a 10-minute condensed KYR script that includes key points from our traditional KYR conveyed in an engaging format that complements live presentations.

The two KYR videos have only been in use with children for a few weeks, but our team’s experiences with these videos have been positive so far. Children who are most confident communicating in K’iche’ and Mam are able to view the videos in addition to receiving a Spanish-language KYR presentation to ensure they receive the information they need. The videos have quickly proven to be incredibly valuable for both our team and the children we serve.

We would like to thank everyone who made these videos possible! We appreciate the dedication and work our colleagues, animators, and narrators put into this project and look forward to the important impact these resources will have for the Mayan children we serve.