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...
Oct 30, 2015

Inaugurating New WASH Facilities

Students spreading environmental awareness!
Students spreading environmental awareness!

This August, Pueblo a Pueblo’s WASH in Schools Project inaugurated sanitation facilities at the Nueva Vida Official School, one of our new partner schools.  We installed five student toilets, one urinal and a small hand washing station with four faucets—making for many happy kids and teachers!

WASH Project Coordinator, Tomás, asserts that “the new facilities will contribute to the betterment of the children’s health because they will no longer be exposed to contagious diseases due to unsanitary conditions.”

To help support the school with the ongoing management of these facilities, students who demonstrated strong leadership skills were selected to be WASH Student Ambassadors. As Ambassadors, they help educate their fellow students about the importance of hygiene and sanitation. In early September, the WASH Student Ambassadors demonstrated their commitment by organizing and leading an Environmental Cleanup Awareness Walk in Nueva Vida. It was a successful community-wide event with hundreds of youth, parents, and teachers participating!

The WASH project in Nueva Vida has also helped coordinate the creation of a support group made up of the school principal, teachers, parents, volunteers and a designated WASH Student Ambassador to ensure a community-driven effort is in place to take on any immediate or future challenges.

Tomás emphasized the importance of the school community’s direct involvement in managing the project. Looking forward, he envisions that 100% of students in the school will use the new facilities and learn the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene.

“Pueblo a Pueblo has now executed all the needed steps. We will do occasional follow-ups, but now we want the teachers, students and community to become the main actors to look out for the hygiene of the students at the school. […] With the appropriate use of the new facilities and the direct support from the students and teachers, this will be another means of improving students’ academic success.”

The old hand-washing station, before construction
The old hand-washing station, before construction
The new completed WASH facilities!
The new completed WASH facilities!
New WASH Student Ambassadors at the inauguration
New WASH Student Ambassadors at the inauguration
The school principal opening up the new facilities
The school principal opening up the new facilities
Oct 30, 2015

Educating and Empowering Local Change-Makers

Antonia and Concepcion
Antonia and Concepcion

Since we last checked in with you, our Family Planning Champions Project has been growing and expanding, empowering even more local women to take charge of their reproductive health. Our partner clinic, Clínica Rxiin Tnamet, has seen many more women seeking out contraceptives because of referrals from our campeonas, or champions. From January until now, we have seen 19 new women regularly visiting the clinic for family planning methods—bringing the total to 77 women!

The increase in participation has in part been due to the efforts of several particularly motivated campeonas, who have pushed to host even more charlas with women in their community.After learning about family planning and sexual health, and seeing the benefits in their own lives, many of our campeonas have told us they feel inspired and empowered to share their knowledge with others.

One campeona, Concepción, explained how using one of the methods she has learned about has helped her personally. She says she has not only been able to see her youngest daughter grow, but has also had more time to better care for her other children. As she told us, “I have learned a lot about the family planning methods that exist here. I am grateful for this knowledge, because I can share this information with other women. [...] I have shared with family members, friends, neighbors, and others.”

One of the biggest impacts, however, is how many campeonas have felt more personally empowered and self-confident because of their participation. Concepción explained how the ability to leave her home during the day and give her time to the project has been a big change for her. Another dedicated campeona, Antonia, echoed these sentiments. She told us that being able to participate in the program and host discussions with other women “encourages me to have self-confidence, to stray from my daily routine, and also to lose the fear of public speaking—and with this have the opportunity to develop myself personally.”

Antonia also shared about her experience giving a presentation on family planning and sexual health to a group of adolescents. She explained how she at first felt out of her comfort zone, but she really appreciated the experience: “Because of this I had more confidence in myself. After, I saw the importance and was thankful to have given the talks, because before I stayed at home a lot. For me, this was a big change.”

A recent training with our campeonas
A recent training with our campeonas
Campeonas receive nutritious food after training
Campeonas receive nutritious food after training
Oct 16, 2015

New Tutoring Initiative Helps Struggling Students

Maria Isabel, a 4th grade tutoring student
Maria Isabel, a 4th grade tutoring student

As the 2015 school year comes to a close this week, our Primary Education Scholarships Project is moving into new territory. During the coming break from school, the project will begin a pilot tutoring initiative to help those students that, given the many difficulties they face, were unsuccessful in passing their grade.

Currently, about 15% of scholarship students do not pass to the next grade level. Our project manager, Johanny Queiju, hopes the tutoring will eventually help all students to pass: “…with the tutoring, our objective is to offer these students the opportunity to improve their school performance.”

Our initial reach will be limited, working with four struggling fourth and fifth grade students from the Chukmuk School. These students attend school through scholarships, but difficult circumstances pushed them off course during the school year. One fifth grade student, Yessica Paola, who suffers from a disability that has affected her since birth, recently changed schools and has struggled to adjust to her new environment, which in turn affected her studies. Ana, a fourth-grade student, performed much more poorly in school after her father left her family and she was left to take on more responsibility at home.

The new tutoring pilot will give students like Yessica and Ana the opportunity to study and make up the work for the classes they failed. It will help them avoid repeating a grade and instead start the next school year along with their peers. The project will be led by Isabela, a former scholarship student who, in part because of the support of Pueblo a Pueblo, was recently able to complete her schooling and become a certified teacher. The project has come full circle! 

Isabela and Maria Isabel in a tutoring session
Isabela and Maria Isabel in a tutoring session
Isabela, former scholarship student turned teacher
Isabela, former scholarship student turned teacher
 
   

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