Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.

Our mission is to improving the health, education and food security of families in Indigenous and rural communities in Latin America. We seek to strengthen vulnerable families by serving women and children, with an emphasis on Indigenous peoples in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala and other rural, coffee-growing communities in Latin America through integrated, school-based health & education programs. Pueblo a Pueblo was founded on the belief that meaningful and sustainable change requires the commitment and active involvement of the individual, community or organization that will benefit from that change. Pueblo a Pueblo strives to deepen values such as personal responsibility, se...
Apr 28, 2015

Community Support for Hygiene Projects

Students in Panimaquip
Students in Panimaquip

In March our school health and hygiene projects engaged new community members through the creation of WASH Support Committees and the introduction of our Student Hygiene Brigades.

WASH Support Committees were initiated in the elementary schools of Panimaquip, Totolya, and Tzanchaj. Each committee is represented by the school director, a teacher, a representative from the Student Hygiene Brigade, and three parents from the school. The groups meet regularly to support the schools in finding and implementing solutions to the challenges of maintaining water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure and good health habits.

For example, in the community of Totolya, the WASH Support Committee encourages healthy behavior despite the frequent water shortages that occur in the school. To address these water shortages, parent committee members suggested that each student bring water from home that can be used for hand-washing. Thanks to their input, local families in Totolya are now encouraging new ways to further good hygiene habits.   

Our Student Hygiene Brigades also began their monthly meetings in March. These groups of six student representatives from the 4th and 5th grades were established in the schools of Panimaquip and Totolya. The students were chosen because of their interest in WASH classes and serve as role models for healthy behaviors and educate younger students on the benefits of washing hands with soap.

By involving students, parents, and school personnel in decisions regarding sanitation infrastructure and in disseminating hygiene information, we empower community members to champion healthy practices in their communities. As a result, we have more support for community health initiatives and see healthier habits being practiced by students, their families, and throughout rural communities in Guatemala.        

New WASH facilities in the Panimaquip School
New WASH facilities in the Panimaquip School
Students washing their hands
Students washing their hands
New bathrooms
New bathrooms
Apr 24, 2015

Organic School Gardens and Nutrition: The Next Chapter

Student in La Cumbre showing off her plant
Student in La Cumbre showing off her plant

With the start of the Guatemalan school year in January came three exciting changes to our Organic School Gardens and Nutrition project.

One of the most exciting changes was the transition of leadership in the organic gardens at the La Cumbre and Chacaya Elementary Schools, as part of the 4th phase of their participation in our project.

In each school, committees composed of local educators, parents, and student representatives are now managing all aspects of the school gardens. Our project technicians are still available to provide assistance when necessary, but the committees are ultimately responsible for maintaining the garden and for ensuring that nutrition education continues for their elementary-aged students.  

We’re extremely proud to see our first project partners begin this new chapter in their organic school gardens and we’re looking forward to seeing how the gardens change and grow under their leadership!

As La Cumbre and Chacaya begin phasing out of the program, Nueva Vida is starting to phase in. Nueva Vida is a very rural community with an elementary school serving 277 students. In December we launched a collaboration with the Nueva Vida Elementary School to implement an organic school garden. With the help of local teachers and parents, we have already cleared the land and built the foundation for the garden. Soon we will start planting and in May, our project technicians will begin teaching students about the fruits, vegetables and herbs that will be growing in their garden.

Last but not least, in our November report, we told you that we were starting to serve breakfast in three of our partner communities. Due to the immediate change we saw in students’ behavior, we decided to implement breakfast, instead of lunch, in all of our partner school and have already seen the positive effect this change has had on students’ attention and participation in morning classes!     

We are very excited about the 2015 school year because we know that the knowledge and experience students gain while working in their organic school gardens and through their nutrition classes will change the common narrative of long-term food insecurity and malnutrition in rural Guatemala. By focusing today on tomorrow’s leaders, we are ensuring a healthier future for indigenous Guatemalan communities.

Teachers from Chacaya having fun in the garden
Teachers from Chacaya having fun in the garden
Students working in the Chacaya garden
Students working in the Chacaya garden
Our garden technician working with students
Our garden technician working with students
Apr 22, 2015

Plenty of Buzz Surrounding the Beekeeping Project

Our beekeepers collecting sweet honey!
Our beekeepers collecting sweet honey!

Though the looming rainy season signifies the end of the honey harvest, there’s still plenty of buzz surrounding the Beekeeping project at Pueblo a Pueblo.

Aj Tikonel Kab’, the local association of beekeepers, produced over 600 pounds of honey since the season started in December. As a comparison, last year’s honey harvest yielded only 250 pounds.

The reasons for this rapid growth are two-fold. First, a new participating group of coffee producers from Totolya added their harvested honey to the total product.  Second, the association members from Pampojila used their income from last year’s harvest to invest in expanding their apiary from ten hives to 25!

The association’s new goal is to produce enough honey to sell year round and it seems attainable as next year will bring even more growth with the introduction of a third group of honey producers from Panimaquip.  

Recently, a group hailing from St. Paul Episcopal Church in Bellingham, Washington visited the project and apiaries. The group, composed of 18 volunteers, was in Santiago Atitlan for a week and provided hands-on support to various projects at Pueblo a Pueblo. One of the most important activities they completed was the construction of ten bee hive boxes for our program participants.

These hive boxes are essential for honey production. Depending on their placement, the boxes can either be used as spaces for bee reproduction, where the brood (bee eggs) are held, or as “honey super boxes”, where they serve as places for bees to store new honey. Either way, these ten new boxes will ensure the beekeepers a head start going into next year’s honey season.

As this year’s harvest winds down, the association will focus on looking for new buyers and expanding their sales market but, above all, they’ll be keeping the bees healthy and maintaining the colonies so they’ll be ready for another productive honey season next year!

New bee hive boxes standing proudly in Panimaquip
New bee hive boxes standing proudly in Panimaquip
Beekeepers working hard to retrieve honey
Beekeepers working hard to retrieve honey

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