School Health and Hygiene for Mayan Children

Sep 11, 2012

Getting ready for Global Handwashing Day

Just a couple weeks ago, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project held the third teacher training of the year with teachers at Tzanchaj Elementary School. Although we are several weeks away from Global Handwashing Day (October 15), Pueblo a Pueblo is busy getting teachers and students ready to have a fun-filled week of activities related to hand washing with soap. According to the organizers of Global Handwashing Day, only 0-34% of the population around the world uses soap when washing their hands even though handwashing with soap is the most cost-effective intervention for reducing illnesses due to diarrhea.  Because of this, Pueblo a Pueblo’s WASH Project is focusing heavily on increasing the use of soap in the schools it partners with. 

During the workshop, teachers came up with ideas for fun activities to engage students related to handwashing with soap. Pueblo a Pueblo’s staff also gave them a few ideas, including using glitter to represent germs and then having students wash their hands until all the glitter is removed. Watch this video of teachers practicing a game from the Global Handwashing Day website called “Get Bubbly.”

As covered in the teacher training, behavior change does not arrive simply by providing knowledge. Children also need to change their attitudes and be provided with the means to enact new behaviors. For this reason, the WASH Project also provides schools with support for increasing access to water and improving bathrooms. At Tzanchaj Elementary we recently installed a new handwashing station, built at the right height for the youngest children so that they can easily wash their hands. Now, thanks to support from our donors, over 190 students at Tzanchaj will be able to wash their hands.
Stay tuned for more fun activities as we get closer to Global Handwashing Day.


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Project Leader

Rosemary Trent

Executive Director
Washington, DC Guatemala

Where is this project located?

Map of School Health and Hygiene for Mayan Children