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...
Aug 1, 2016

To the Rescue!

Concepcion, a Pueblo a Pueblo beneficiary
Concepcion, a Pueblo a Pueblo beneficiary

For first-time mothers, pregnancy is an exciting, new experience, but it can also be a scary time filled with uncertainty. This is especially true for young women without access to proper maternal health care.

Concepcion, a first-time mother from Santiago Atitlan, was recently in a similar situation. As a 23-year-old single woman without economic support, Concepcion spent the majority of her pregnancy without any type of prenatal health care. Concepcion had badly swollen feet throughout her pregnancy and could not walk well, which made it even more difficult to seek medical assistance.

Vilma Mendoza, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Maternal Child Health Project Manager, notes that Concepcion, “felt a lot of panic and fear, because she didn’t know if the symptoms she experienced were normal. Concepcion felt like she was going through this vulnerable period of her life all alone.”

Thankfully, a former Maternal Child Health beneficiary told us about Concepcion, and with the generous contributions from supporters like you, the Pueblo a Pueblo team was able to get Concepcion the proper medical support to carry out a healthy, successful pregnancy.

Pueblo a Pueblo provided transportation so Concepcion could go to her prenatal appointments at the local clinic in town, Clinica Rxiin Tnamet, and at the larger hospital farther away in Solola, the state capital, which has specialized care. Rebeca Tiney, our Maternal Child Health Program Assistant, also began to accompany Concepcion to each appointment and follow up with routine home visits.

With the support of Pueblo a Pueblo’s team during her last few months of pregnancy, Concepcion gave birth on July 5 to a healthy, happy girl named Sofia. Both mom and baby are doing great! Pueblo a Pueblo will continue to support Concepcion until she is three months postpartum and until the child turns 5 years old. Concepcion will also continue to visit the Pueblo a Pueblo office for educational workshops on important topics like nutrition and family planning.

According to Vilma Mendoza, the overall impact of the Maternal Child Health program is two-fold. First, “families are very happy that babies are in good health and moms are safe after labor,” but also, “mothers who received help from Pueblo a Pueblo are able to spread the word to other women in their communities who may be single, scared first-time mothers. Through Pueblo a Pueblo, these young women are able to get the support they need to carry out safe pregnancies and raise healthy children!”

Baby Sofia
Baby Sofia
Mothers, including Concepcion, at a workshop
Mothers, including Concepcion, at a workshop
Jul 19, 2016

Knowledge is Power for San Juan Mirador Students

A WASH Student Ambassador at San Juan Mirador
A WASH Student Ambassador at San Juan Mirador

Last time we checked in at San Juan Mirador School, a small, Kaqchikel-speaking community outside of San Lucas Toliman, we were in the very beginning stage of breaking ground on new WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) facilities. The bathrooms at San Juan Mirador were in such poor conditions that students were at high risk of getting sick and missing school.

Thanks to a partnership with the students at Trailside Middle School in Ashburn, VA, and support from donors like you, construction is well underway. During this first phase, Pueblo a Pueblo is building four latrines, two handwashing stations with four faucets, and a urinal. The WASH facilities are set to be completed by early August, which means the teachers and 222 students at San Juan Mirador will soon have access to new clean bathrooms!

Meanwhile, we’ve moved forward with our second round of training for WASH student ambassadors. During this training, the WASH student ambassadors at San Juan Mirador learned how personal hygiene affects self-esteem and academic productivity. Teachers and students were divided into two groups. They then analyzed short stories explaining how poor hygiene habits, like not washing your hands or not bathing, can cause sickness. The stories showed that when students get sick often, they miss more school, harming their academic development and self-esteem.

WASH student ambassadors also learned how to create good personal hygiene routines. For example, students should always wash fruits and vegetables before eating them, and they should boil tap water before drinking it. With this knowledge in hand, WASH ambassadors can encourage their peers to follow these healthy habits as well!

WASH Project Coordinator Tomas Mendoza notes that it is  “very important to have a group of student ambassadors learn healthy habits, so they can be change-makers for a healthier school environment and improve the overall personal hygiene of their peers.”

Now that they are equipped with personal hygiene and sanitation knowledge and the soon-to-be finished WASH facilities, students and teachers at San Juan Mirador are on their way to healthier and more productive school days!

Students and teachers during the second training
Students and teachers during the second training
Pre-construction, bathrooms are in poor condition
Pre-construction, bathrooms are in poor condition
Digging wells for septic tanks
Digging wells for septic tanks
Construction in progress for new, clean bathrooms!
Construction in progress for new, clean bathrooms!
Jul 8, 2016

Beekeepers "Abuzz" with Plans for the Coming Year

Beekeepers in Huehuetenango checking their hives
Beekeepers in Huehuetenango checking their hives

This year’s honey harvest is finally in, but our beekeeping projects are already preparing for the coming year. And although some groups have finished training, others are continuing to build their skills.

The three beekeeping groups that make up the Aj Tikonel Kab beekeepers association have officially graduated from Pueblo a Pueblo project trainings and are now operating on their own. They have the training and knowledge to properly monitor their hives and continue to sell and market their product. Now, Pueblo a Pueblo’s role is to provide technical support when needed.

Having collected their harvest and processed their honey, the Aj Tikonel Kab beekeepers are in the process of marketing their products. They have been exploring new markets around the lake to sell their honey in local stores, hotels, and in specialty fairs for artisanal and organic products. Most recently, they participated in a national event for small honey producers in Solola, the state departmental capital.

Meanwhile, the year-old group of 10 women beekeepers in La Libertad, Huehuetenango have continued with trainings and have collected their first harvest. But, because of the cold temperatures in the highlands this past winter, there was a shortage of worker bees to gather the honey, leaving the hives weakened. Also, the beekeepers had just begun their trainings and were not yet equipped with the knowledge to effectively evaluate hive health. So this year, the hives did not produce enough honey to sell, and the women are sharing the 40-lb harvest among their families.

Since the cold season, however, the women of La Libertad have completed several more trainings. They now have the skills and knowledge to monitor their hives. For example, they know what to look for when checking hive health, and they can diagnose any problems that arise to either fix the problem themselves or ask Pueblo a Pueblo for technical advice.

The most recent training in Huehuetenango was conducted in April, when the women learned how to harvest and process the honey. They also learned how to divide hives to effectively grow their apiary.

Pueblo a Pueblo’s beekeeping expert, Genaro, made a return visit to Huehuetenango in May to check on the hives and to meet with the beekeepers. He also ensured that the hives were doing well after dividing them in April, and he worked with the women to prepare the hives for the upcoming rainy season.

Now that the rainy season has begun, they will not be collecting their next harvest until the fall. In the meantime, the hives are strong and the beekeepers will continue to learn more skills!

Aj Tikonel Kab beekeepers selling honey at markets
Aj Tikonel Kab beekeepers selling honey at markets
Genaro training beekeepers in Huehuetenango
Genaro training beekeepers in Huehuetenango
Beekeepers thanking a Mayan God for their harvest
Beekeepers thanking a Mayan God for their harvest
 
   

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