The Pueblo a Pueblo School Lunch Program has been even more important this year to the six elementary schools where school lunch is served through Pueblo a Pueblo. Because of a lack of resources and difficult economic climate schools that are normally supported by the Guatemalan government with a morning snack have yet to receive funding. Therefore, Pueblo a Pueblo’s school lunch has been providing the only nutritious and healthy food that children will receive during the school day. Additionally, because of the continued support of donors we have just begun to serve lunch in our sixth school Panaj! The Santiago school of Panaj is located in the town of Santiago Atitlan and serves 293 students with its very limited resources. The school community, under the leadership of the school Principle Rebeca Ramirez have come together to organize the implementation of the school lunch project and developed a healthy menu. The school lunch project in Panaj will be complemented with the produce harvested from the school organic garden that Pueblo a Pueblo broke ground on this past month!! Pueblo a Pueblo is now proud to be able to provide a daily nutritious meal to over 1,100 students through the school lunch program making a very important impact on school attendance, mal nutrition rates, and student performance! Thank you for your support!
The 2012 school year in Santiago Atitlan is getting off to a great start this year! The Pueblo a Pueblo School Lunch project will continue to provide hot daily lunches to the children of La Cumbre, Chacaya, and Panabaj. Additionally this year, because of the support of donors, we are expanding the program to the School of Tzanchaj II! Tzanchaj is located on the shores of Lake Atitlan and within the danger zone declared following the devastating mudslides of 2005. The 215 children who attend Tzanchaj will now receive a daily hot lunch, often their first meal of the day for children from families who often do not have the resources to provide a healthy breakfast. Pueblo a Pueblo’s school lunch program will begin this year by providing daily hot lunches to over 760 students in Santiago Atitlan. With additional donor support through GlobalGiving, we hope to expand the School Lunch Project this year to provide an important and healthy meal to more children within the Santiago Atitlan region. Thank you for your continued support!
As the 2011 school year comes to an end this week in Santiago Atitlan, Pueblo a Pueblo reflects back on the growth and impact that the School Lunch program has had throughout the year. Now serving lunch in three rural schools, Panabaj, Chacaya, and La Cumbre, Pueblo a Pueblo is providing healthy and nutritious meals to over 700 children who would not otherwise have access to a meal of protein and important vitamins and minerals. Instead of a typical lunch at home of corn tortillas and salsa, or salt, children in the Pueblo a Pueblo School Lunch program are eating chicken with beans and rice, beef stew, and on other days spaghetti with vegetables. The mere existence of the school lunch program and certainty that children will be fed during school is an incentive for poor agricultural families to send their children to school. November does not only mark the end of the school year but also the beginning of the coffee harvest throughout the region. This is a busy time for families whose livelihood is dependent on the coffee harvest and young children are often pulled out of school to help harvest. The incentive of a hot lunch is enough to keep many of those children in school up to the last days of class, enabling them to complete all of their final exams and continue on to the next year.
Looking forward Pueblo a Pueblo is entering an exciting time of growth! With your support we hope to be able to expand to two more schools in the coming year, providing a much needed hot daily lunch to an additional 530 children of Atitlan, Guatemala.
The Pueblo a Pueblo School Lunch Project has expanded this year from one to three schools in the Santiago Atitlan region of Guatemala. Now a daily hot lunch is provided to nearly 600 students in the schools of Panabaj (262 students), Chacaya (134) and La Cumbre (160). Students are benefiting from lunches including meat, vegetables, and beans, which provide important nutritional benefits not otherwise available to them at home. In the coming year, and with your support, Pueblo a Pueblo hopes to expand our program to provide valuable nutritional lunches in an additional two schools, contributing to increases in health as well as academic performance and attendance.
There are 260 children enrolled in the Panabaj Elementary School this year, all of whom are benefiting from the 2011 School Lunch Program thanks to continued donations. The students are in school from 8am until 12:30 and many of them don’t have breakfast before going to school. Without the lunch program, children who are lucky enough to have a couple of quetzales ($0.25) would be buying snacks with little to no nutritional value while those without any money would simply go without anything.
Instead all of the children at the school can now depend on a nutritious hot meal to help them concentrate on their studies and contribute towards their healthy development. With your continued support, Pueblo a Pueblo is seeking to provide the same service of a reliable hot meal to the other three elementary schools in which we have school gardens. With these two complementary projects, students will gain firsthand knowledge of the basics of growing food and nutrition while being guaranteed a hot, healthy meal that incorporates the garden harvests.
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