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 2, 2016

Students Celebrate the Opening of New Library

Students in the Nueva Providencia library
Students in the Nueva Providencia library

This summer our Pathways to Literacy team has been working hard to complete the construction of a library at Nueva Providencia Elementary School. The team has been making regular visits to the school to address the library’s needs, including fixing the leaky roof, delivering books and securing furniture for the students. After months of preparation, the library was finally opened to students and teachers on August 8!

Alongside the library’s construction needs, Pueblo a Pueblo has been training a librarian to run the operations of the Nueva Providencia library, and a team of eight student Literacy Ambassadors has been formed to help manage the library.  They will help keep the books organized and remind their peers to follow library rules.

The Nueva Providencia library support group has also been formed, made up of four mothers from the community, the school director and one teacher. Throughout the year, the group will receive trainings from Pueblo a Pueblo on library upkeep, cataloging methods, and development of dynamic literacy activities for the students. The school is on its way to having a well-run, self-sustaining library.

Although more infrastructure changes are still needed, students now have a place to read and borrow books. Esther Domínguez, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Education Program Assistant, noted that, “You can see the excitement on the kids’ faces. Before there was no library at all at Nueva Providencia School, but now they finally have a supply of books and a cozy corner to read them!”

Students working in the new library
Students working in the new library
Our Pueblo a Pueblo staff with students
Our Pueblo a Pueblo staff with students
Oct 2, 2016

"Charlas con Padres" Pilot Program

Parents at a workshop at Panabaj School
Parents at a workshop at Panabaj School

This July, our Primary Education Scholarships team began a new pilot project called Charlas con padres (Chats with Parents). In rural communities surrounding Lake Atitlan, many parents are illiterate and find it difficult to help their children with their studies. To address this issue, the project includes a series of workshops focused on helping parents find creative ways to support their child in school.

The first workshops took place at Chukmuk and Panabaj Elementary Schools. According to Johanny Quieju, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Primary Education Scholarships Manager, “Many parents came to participate, and feedback from the workshop was very positive.” Illiteracy is common here, so there is not a lot of emphasis on education. With this project, “I think more parents are understanding that their role is to motivate their children to succeed in school,” added Quieju.

Some ideas to support children at home with their studies is to keep regular communication with the teacher, designate a specific homework hour, and limit distractions during that time. Other ideas include having children write down recipes as their parents cook -- this not only records family meals, but it helps students with their reading and writing!

These ideas may seem small, but the purpose is to help parents have an active role in their child’s education. “With these steps, we can increase parent’s participation,” remarked Johanny Quieju. “We are very excited to expand this pilot project to other schools in our beneficiary communities!”

A workshop at Chukmuk School
A workshop at Chukmuk School
Johanny speaking at a workshop
Johanny speaking at a workshop
Oct 2, 2016

School Meals and Swiss Chard

Meals served at Nueva Vida School
Meals served at Nueva Vida School

Pueblo a Pueblo’s School Health and Nutrition program has been going strong. Thanks to the meals we help provide to our beneficiary schools, students have the nutrients they need to stay energized throughout the school day.  During July and August, a total of 17,136 meals were served to 432 students at Pacoc, Nueva Vida and Nueva Providencia elementary schools.  That’s a lot of full tummies and minds ready to learn!  The meals are supplemented by the produce the students harvest from their organic school gardens.

Alongside meals, we have been hosting school nutrition trainings for mothers and their children. From a total of 12 trainings, 69 mothers and 66 students attended and learned about the olla familiar (the Guatemalan food pyramid equivalent), food groups and serving sizes. These trainings also include a cooking component -- featuring a special ingredient -- Swiss chard!

Chard is a vegetable full of important vitamins and minerals, and it is grown in the organic school gardens at our beneficiary schools. However, once the chard is harvested, families often don’t know how to cook it. According to Ana Cabrera, the School Health and Nutrition project Manager, "It’s not enough to know how to grow the vegetables -- you have to know how to eat them."

So during the trainings, mothers and students have been learning how to make Swiss chard wraps. Using the Chard as a base, they fill the inside with ham, chicken, or cheese, and then lightly pan fry the wraps. Our beneficiary families now have a new recipe they can make for dinner while getting a healthy serving of vitamin K, magnesium and potassium! You might like to try them too, we think they’re delicious.

Mothers learning about the olla familiar
Mothers learning about the olla familiar
Mothers cooking during the training
Mothers cooking during the training
 
   

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