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 21, 2016

New Connections, New Possibilities

San Juan Mirador students with Trailside t-shirts
San Juan Mirador students with Trailside t-shirts

Soon, we will begin construction on WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) facilities at San Juan Mirador School. This new partnership is particularly exciting because San Juan Mirador has some special supporters: the students at Trailside Middle School in Ashburn, VA.

San Juan Mirador School is located in a small, Kaqchikel-speaking community outside of San Lucas Toliman. There are currently 222 students from preschool to 6th grade, and most of the students’ parents work on the large coffee plantations nearby. The students love school -- but “the bathrooms are in bad shape, and the kids are really at risk to get sick,” explained Tomas, our WASH in Schools Project Coordinator.

Trailside Middle School is helping us meet the challenge. Through a collaboration with H2O For Life, Trailside students have been raising money and awareness within their communities to support San Juan Mirador’s new WASH construction. Trailside has hosted advocacy and fundraising events at their school, and have even reached out to the students at San Juan Mirador. Students learning Spanish have written letters introducing themselves to the students in San Juan Mirador, and recently, the school sent over 100 Trailside t-shirts.

When WASH Project Coordinator Tomas visited the school recently, he delivered the letters and t-shirts to the 6th grade class. Students could see photos of the students at Trailside, and each student received a t-shirt and a letter. They have now written letters in response, sharing their everyday lives and their interests with the Trailside students.

Alice, an 8th grade teacher at Trailside Middle School described how the students  “are really excited. [They] loved being able to see the direct connection made. Our students were excited to see how excited San Juan Mirador students were.”

The first phase of the WASH in Schools Project is now underway at San Juan Mirador. The school has chosen its six student WASH ambassadors, who will help to make sure their peers practice proper hygiene and that the bathrooms are fully stocked with soap and toilet paper. They have also formed a community support group, which includes the principal, the teacher in charge of WASH, the student ambassadors, and two parents.

This past month, the community support group participated in the first WASH training at the school, where they learned proper hand-washing and teeth-brushing techniques, and more WASH basics. There is another training coming up before construction begins in May!

The entire 6th grade class
The entire 6th grade class
Checking out photos from Trailside Middle School
Checking out photos from Trailside Middle School
First training at San Juan Mirador!
First training at San Juan Mirador!
The school principal participating in 1st training
The school principal participating in 1st training
Apr 8, 2016

Exciting New Garden Initatives

Youth participating in a training at our office
Youth participating in a training at our office

Our School Nutrition and Organic School Gardens projects have had an exciting few months since the school year began in January. Garden classes for students began in February, teachers have received their first of three trainings this year, and over 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables have been planted.

In the coming months, Pueblo a Pueblo will begin working with four new schools to develop and implement our School Nutrition Project, and we will start kitchen improvements in several schools. But more on that to come!

To improve the efficiency of the methods being used in our partner school organic gardens, we have been testing four new techniques in our demonstration garden in Panabaj. Project Manager Ana Cabrera explained, “Our goal is to help communities deal with key issues they are facing: limited water availability, lack of land and space, and poor soil quality.”

The techniques we are testing include:

  • Square foot gardening: Plant veggies as close as possible, diving your bed into 1 x1 foot squares with one type of veggie in each, instead of using long garden beds. You get more produce in less space, with less construction, less soil, and less work (weeding) and water use.
  • Keyhole gardening: A circular bed with a hole in the middle filled with kitchen scraps that become compost/fertilizer for the garden bed. You water in the center of the garden, and as you water the soil it becomes fertilized. You use less water as it slowly travels to the outside areas of the garden bed.
  • Tower gardens: Maximizes production in a small space, because you grow vertically and not horizontally.

We are also expanding our youth leadership programs in the gardens. Groups of youth volunteers have already formed in three communities (Nueva Vida, Guineales, and Xojolya), and we are hoping to establish two new youth groups in nearby communities.

Involving young people in the maintenance of school and community gardens is hugely important for garden success because “we provide the youth with new knowledge and skill sets so they can expand their options [for the future]. Also, it provides the garden with extra support and increases the involvement of the wider community, not just the teachers and kids,” explained Ana.

From new school partnerships and kitchen improvement, to new gardening techniques and youth involvement -- we are excited about the new school year. We can’t wait to share more successes with you in the coming months!

One of our youth leadership groups in their garden
One of our youth leadership groups in their garden
Students in a garden class in San Andres
Students in a garden class in San Andres
Students with some of their harvest in Nueva Vida
Students with some of their harvest in Nueva Vida
Apr 8, 2016

A Successful End to Honey Harvest Season

Aj Tikonel Kab Beekeepers
Aj Tikonel Kab Beekeepers

Our beekeeping project has seen a successful few months! Since the beginning of the dry season in November, our Aj Tikonel Kab beekeepers have been able to harvest multiple rounds of honey. The harvest is finishing up this month just as the rainy season approaches, and their honey can be found all around town and around the lake!

This year also marks the end of formal training for our Aj Tikonel Kab beekeepers, as they transition to an autonomous group. They have completed the entire training cycle, and from this point forward Pueblo a Pueblo will provide only supplemental support. Project Manager Ana Cabrera explained that the next step for Pueblo a Pueblo’s relationship with Aj Tikonel Kab is “determining what support they need and how we can best provide the support they need to become independent and thrive.”

Our partnership with the women beekeepers at La Cooperativa Crédito Esquipulas in Huehuetenango has also been progressing well.  The women are acquiring more and more beekeeping skills. So far they have completed four practical trainings, with the most recent training in January. This training session reviewed the lessons the women learned in the fall.  We helped them check on the health of the hives to evaluate what they had been doing well and what could be improved. Additionally, they learned how to prepare for different weather conditions and laid the groundwork for their first harvest. The next session in two weeks will cover all the necessary skills for harvesting and processing the honey for sale.

Ana reports that the women are “more confident in their work with the bees and their hives. They are excited about getting their first harvest at the end of April!”

An Aj Tikonel Kab beekeeper opens up the hives
An Aj Tikonel Kab beekeeper opens up the hives
Beekeepers in Huehuetenango
Beekeepers in Huehuetenango
 

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $15
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $75
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $1,000
    give
  • $7,000
    give
  • $15
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $75
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $1,000
    each month
    give
  • $7,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc. on GreatNonProfits.org.