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...
Nov 10, 2014

The Impact of our WASH Project

In our last report from August, we told you how your donations made it possible to bring new WASH facilities to three different schools in the past year, increasing our outreach to 785 students. We want to share with you what that means in terms of impact.

Recently we sat down with teachers at the Tzanchaj Primary School, one of our WASH beneficiary schools, to talk about their hygiene and sanitation facilities. They told us that since the start of the project they have seen an increase in student attendance and a decrease in child illness, especially in the prevalence of fevers and diarrhea. Additionally, the WASH activities have improved children’s overall hygiene habits and enhanced their self-esteem.

The teachers shared a story with us about a student named Paulo. Paulo, like the majority of students in Tzanchaj, comes from a poor family that doesn’t have the money to buy basic personal hygiene supplies like soap. Although his parents want him to be healthy, Paulo would come to school every day with dirty hands and fingernails.

However, due to WASH activities in school, Paulo has transformed into a model student for hand washing. He properly washes his hands with soap and water and never needs to be prompted by his teachers to wash his hands before eating and after using the bathroom. Instead, Paulo comes to school every day and shows off his hands, exhibiting their cleanliness and his higher self-confidence.  

Paulo isn’t the only student with an inspirational story. Many of the students share what they’ve learned in school with their parents and siblings, thereby creating healthier families and stronger communities. Gaspar Damian Reanda, a teacher at the Tzanchaj Primary School, has had a front row seat to the change. “This project is very important,” he told us. “We, as teachers and as a school, are very grateful to see our students taking better care of themselves.” 

A student washes his hands in Tzanchaj
A student washes his hands in Tzanchaj
Nov 6, 2014

Getting Ready for the Bees

Our project technician with a honey panel
Our project technician with a honey panel

Springtime in Guatemala is coming and our beekeeping groups are getting ready for another great harvest! Since the project started in late 2013, participating groups have produced over 250 pounds of honey that’s been sold in local cafes, hotels, grocery stores, and restaurants, and they’re hoping to do even better come November.

To get ready for the harvest our project technician is working with seventeen farmers from Totolya and Pampojila to construct three more beehives and several panels to house more bees, as well as helping to clean up the current hive sites and maintain the surrounding lands.

Perhaps the most interesting addition to the project is the plan to plant colorful flowers in order to attract more bees to the hives and to sweeten the flavor of the honey. You may not know this, but the color, texture, and taste of honey is derived from the pollen and flowers surrounding the apiary. Here in Guatemala, we are lucky to have a variety of vegetation that begins to bloom in October, paving the way for sweeter and more abundant honey harvests.

For example, over the next few weeks we’ll start to see the budding of the Acajete tree, which produces sweet, translucent nectar. Next to blossom are beautiful yellow wildflowers, followed by avocado trees. The last to bloom are citrus trees and, finally, coffee plants, whose bright red seeds transform into the coffee we all love to drink.

While the Guatemalan countryside becomes lush and colorful, bees will be buzzing from flower to flower, collecting pollen and producing hundreds of pounds of golden honey for sale by farmers in need across the region.

Returning from the hives!
Returning from the hives!
Group members look on during a training
Group members look on during a training
Nov 5, 2014

Stepping Stones to Dreams

Students walk onto stage for 6th grade graduation
Students walk onto stage for 6th grade graduation

The school year is coming to an end and we’re excited to announce that 17 of our sponsored students will be graduating from the 6th grade! As you already know, this is no small feat. In Guatemala only 60% of students who started school in the first grade complete the 6th grade. The situation is even worse in rural, indigenous communities like Santiago Atitlan where 44% of the population remains illiterate. A variety of factors keep children from completing their education, but one of the biggest is that families often lack the money for pay for basic school supplies and uniforms.  

Take Micaela’s story, for example. Earlier this year, Micaela (pictured below) was almost certain she wouldn’t get to graduate. She’s the youngest of eight children and her parents were struggling to provide for her education. Every day to help out she would make beaded bracelets to sell to tourists on the main street in town.  

One day Micaela’s teachers at the Panabaj Primary School identified her as an ideal candidate for Pueblo a Pueblo’s support because “she’s both dedicated and responsible,” according to Johanny, our project manager. Since then, Micaela has been able to focus on her studies rather than worry about affording to stay in school. This October she's one of our 6th grade graduates and dreams to become a lawyer!

This is why we’re so thankful to all of you who donate to our Creating Educational Opportunities project. If it weren’t for you, so many students like Micaela would be unable to complete their primary school education.   

Micaela Ratzan, a sponsored student in Panabaj
Micaela Ratzan, a sponsored student in Panabaj
Scenes from ChukMuk
Scenes from ChukMuk's 6th grade graduation
Our sponsored graduates at ChukMuk Primary School
Our sponsored graduates at ChukMuk Primary School

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