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 22, 2015

Providing Support for Students

One of our scholarship students from Chacaya
One of our scholarship students from Chacaya

The school year is underway in Guatemala and students across the country are preparing to take their first exams of the year. While testing may cause anxiety for students and their families, evaluations and grades are important indicators for Pueblo a Pueblo staff to address the needs of scholarship students.

As part of a scholarship, students receive school supplies and gym uniforms in addition to medical care, including dental checkups and medications. Most importantly, we also offer one-on-one, tailored support and mentorship for students.

When students perform poorly on exams, their teachers help us arrange a home visit to meet with the student and his or her family. Through these visits, we can determine the causes behind a student’s poor academic performance and construct a plan with the family on how to get the student back on track.

In a country where more than 50% of indigenous students do not complete their primary education, extra support from a caring adult makes all the difference. Most students in rural communities of Guatemala are forced to leave school early because their families cannot afford school fees or they do not see the importance of completing their education.

One of our former scholarship students, Isabella, dropped out of school in the 4th grade. She was one of the youngest children in a family of 13 and it was not a surprise when she and her friends decided to abandon school. However, their teachers brought the situation to our attention and with the help of a scholarship, they quickly re-enrolled. Isabella still faced a lot of challenges and withstood pressure from friends and families urging her to leave school but four years later, Isabella is studying to become a teacher and hopes to pass on the love of learning to younger children.

When speaking to her about the scholarship program, Isabella told us that without the support from our staff, she would have left school in the 6th grade. She is so proud to have a degree and is excited by the opportunities available to her because she completed her education.  

We’re happy to provide the support that young students like Isabella need to complete their education in rural Guatemala and we hope to help many more in the future. Thanks for your ongoing support!

Students from Panabaj
Students from Panabaj
Students in Chacaya receiving school supplies
Students in Chacaya receiving school supplies
Apr 21, 2015

Healthy Beginnings, Bright Futures

For Pueblo a Pueblo, working in maternal and child health means indigenous women have access to safe and healthy pregnancies. They also receive the education and support they need to give their children a healthy start in life.  

It gives us pleasure to see newborn babies grow into healthy, active children, and young women transform into educated, empowered mothers. However, there are many challenges in our work as a third of indigenous women in Guatemala give birth before turning eighteen years old.  

Teenage pregnancies cause unique risks that threaten the health of a mother and her newborn child. Such risks include lack of prenatal care, susceptibility to high blood pressure and birthing complications, premature births and low birth weights, sexually transmitted diseases, post-partum depression, and feelings of isolation and lack of social support.

As such we know how important it is to support first-time mothers and pregnant young women. So in recent months we invited twenty pregnant adolescents to join our Maternal Child Health program and two of them gave birth in early April.

Dolores, one of the new mothers, found Pueblo a Pueblo in January. She was sixteen, single and pregnant, and came from a rural community that lacked medical services. Upon enrollment in our program, Dolores received prenatal care, including multivitamins and folic acid to support the development of her unborn child, and has been very active in our monthly educational sessions. 

While her pregnancy was healthy, Dolores had a complicated delivery. She spent the day before her birth in pain and at 3 a.m. she had to call the local firemen to bring her to the nearest hospital. Upon arrival the attendees told Dolores that her pregnancy was too high risk and that she would have to travel to the region’s capital, more than an hour and a half away, to give birth. But Dolores could not make that journey.

Despite of the complications she had during her delivery, Dolores gave birth in the local hospital to a healthy baby boy, thanks in part to the prenatal care and medical services provided to her through our Maternal Child Health program. We know that healthy beginnings provide the needed foundation for a bright future, and are happy to help women and their families grow and thrive throughout rural Guatemala. 

Mar 24, 2015

Just Like a Fairy Tale

Setting up the Chukmuk Library in 2012
Setting up the Chukmuk Library in 2012

Once upon a time, (about three years ago), Pueblo a Pueblo joined together with the Chukmuk Elementary School to create a lending library. We had dreams of students writing and reading, and seeing their imaginations grow with the possibilities of what-could-be.

Just like a fairy tale, our dreams came true.

Over the past three years our staff, together with the teachers, students, and parents in Chukmuk, dedicated a lot of time and effort to create a fully functioning school library. Through thirteen training sessions, and countless donations from supporters like you, the library was built, furnished, equipped with resources, and school personnel learned how to manage and prioritize literacy programs.

Now, the Chukmuk library boasts several projects, including internal book lending to students and teachers, and external book loans to families in the community. They host a wide range of literacy-boosting activities for students during daily recess, before and after school, and two weeks during the summer. They also stock nineteen mini-libraries in each classroom of the Chukmuk school!

Carolina, a 3rd grade teacher, has noticed the library’s impact on students’ reading comprehension and their daily habits. Typical school mornings saw students “sitting down in class or bothering their classmates,” she told us. “But now when they arrive in the morning, they go directly to the mini-libraries and entertain themselves with books.”         

The library’s exciting and energizing influence expands beyond school walls and impacts the entire community. One mother told Pueblo a Pueblo how her daughter brings home the library's different lessons and activities. “It’s hard for me,” she told us, “but through my daughter I have learned new words, and if it weren’t for the books in the library I wouldn’t have learned so many new things.”

We’re proud of the Chukmuk Elementary School and are excited to see our two other partner schools, in La Cumbre and Chacaya, continue down a similar pathway to literacy.

Our project technician leading a training session
Our project technician leading a training session
Story Hour in one of the Chukmuk classrooms
Story Hour in one of the Chukmuk classrooms
Students crowding around a mini-library
Students crowding around a mini-library
 
   

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