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Sep 13, 2019

When a Small Boost Makes a Big Difference

Students pose with their new athletic uniforms
Students pose with their new athletic uniforms

For many families in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, sending a child to school gets complicated fast. When a household of five or six family members depends on an income of less than $4.00 per day, it is nearly impossible for parents to enroll even one child in school due to the laundry list of costs associated with school attendance.

For example, every public school student in Santiago Atitlán must purchase a sports uniform and shoes to wear during gym class throughout the school year. While gym clothes may seem an insignificant detail, the inability to pay for a sports uniform can prevent children in Santiago from attending and excelling in school.

At Pueblo a Pueblo, we believe that economic need should not prevent children from having the opportunity to learn. That’s why every student participating in the Primary Education Scholarships project receives a uniform and a pair of athletic shoes each year.

Last week, project manager Johanny Quiejú visited Chukmuk Primary School to deliver a brand-new uniform to each student. Once she had passed out a shirt and sweatpants to each of the sixteen students in attendance, the boys and girls tried them on. With a color-coordinated uniform in tow, each student is more prepared to take on elementary school and all its challenges—without worrying about how to pay for gym clothes.

Our Primary Education Scholarships team works hard to set students up for success, but we can’t do it without supporters like you! Thank you for believing in the power of education to transform lives and the little boosts—sometimes as simple as a gym uniform—that make a big difference along the way.

Johanny helps out
Johanny helps out
Chukmuk Primary School scholarship recipients
Chukmuk Primary School scholarship recipients
A student shows off her new uniform
A student shows off her new uniform

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Aug 23, 2019

Give the Gift of Literacy Today

Tzanchaj Primary School
Tzanchaj Primary School

On a small, rural campus on the outskirts of Santiago Atitlán, Tzanchaj Primary School serves 252 students from preschool to sixth grade. A tight-knit group of teachers, administrators, and parents are enthusiastic about making the school a better place to learn, play, and grow—and they need your help to do it!

With your help, Pueblo a Pueblo will help them build a new school library at Tzanchaj, opening up doors to new ways of teaching and learning. “The library is a dynamic learning space,” says Pathways to Literacy Project Consultant Rebeca Sosof. “It's different from a regular classroom because it gives kids more freedom to learn and play at the same time.” Rebeca wants every student at Tzanchaj to pick up a book during recess, build a robot out of Legos, or play math games on an electronic tablet. Students who have the opportunity to engage with a variety of educational activities master vital skills like reading and writing more quickly and successfully, and the library will provide space for teachers to introduce and reinforce these skills in creative ways.

Your gift to this project will provide books, educational games, and teaching materials to fill the shelves of the brand-new library. With your support, our staff will also train a brand-new librarian to catalogue the donated materials and instruct school faculty in the use of library resources—in all subject areas, even science and math! Your donation will build a space where young people will walk a pathway to literacy—perhaps the greatest gift an educator can offer.

“My teachers and I are willing to work hard to build a better school for our students," says Principal María Magdalena Damián Tziná. "We've done it before, we're doing it now, and we'll do it again." Help us equip Principal Magdalena and her team with the tools they need to build and sustain a school library in Tzanchaj. You can give young students the gift of literacy today!

Rebeca and Principal Magdalena
Rebeca and Principal Magdalena
The future site of the new Tzanchaj school library
The future site of the new Tzanchaj school library

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Aug 16, 2019

Hygiene Heroes

The new Ambassadors with their faculty advisors
The new Ambassadors with their faculty advisors

There’s a new team of hygiene heroes at Agua Escondida Primary School!

Tomás Pacay Mendoza is the manager of Pueblo a Pueblo's Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools project. On July 23, he visited Agua Escondida to meet with its brand-new group of Hygiene Ambassadors: students who will work alongside faculty to promote healthy habits at their school.

These twelve students were selected by their teachers because they are active, enthusiastic, and invested in making their school a better place. The new ambassadors met with Tomás during his visit to learn more about their roles and responsibilities as Hygiene Ambassadors.

Their first order of business? Spreading the word about the importance of hand-washing—and how to do it correctly. The ambassadors will be on duty during recess, when they will encourage their peers to wash their hands (with soap!) after using the restroom. They will also participate in school-wide hygiene education assemblies, the first of which is coming up soon—just next week!

For now, the lower school Ambassadors have to point their fellow students toward a temporary handwashing station made up of a water cooler positioned over a plastic basin. While the school’s upper level got a makeover by the WASH project earlier this year, the lower school must wait for a second phase of construction. With your support, Pueblo a Pueblo will initiate phase two and rebuild a bank of bathroom stalls in Agua Escondida’s lower school. The new facility will include boys’ stalls, girls’ stalls, and a fully functional handwashing station.

At the end of their meeting with Tomás, the Hygiene Ambassadors received vests to symbolize their role as leaders in their school. The Ambassadors are already doing good work—consider a donation today to back them up with the improved facilities they need to make their school a healthier place to learn, play, and grow!

Tomas addresses the new Hygiene Ambassadors
Tomas addresses the new Hygiene Ambassadors
Temporary handwashing station at the lower school
Temporary handwashing station at the lower school
New handwashing station at the upper school
New handwashing station at the upper school

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