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Mar 20, 2012

Just take a look at our Books!

Johanny and LIdia
Johanny and LIdia

We’re settling in to our new location in the Chukmuk school, and the children are so excited! Every day they ask our librarian, Lidia, “When are the library activities going to start?” We assure them that activities will be starting very soon, but in the meantime, we’ve been moving, cleaning, and organizing.

Throughout February we were…

  • Moving the library furniture to the new location
  • Packing, unpacking, and organizing six hundred new books donated and purchased with donations over the past year
  • Cleaning!

Library Coordinator Johanny and Librarian Lidia hold the first three books cataloged for the library.

  • Cataloging the library’s stock with the simplified Dewey
    decimal system and a junior color code
  • Expanding our “library start-up” guide so that other teachers or schools who are interested in starting a library can model our work
  • Registering and updating our existing inventory of 290 books
  • Painting bookshelves in cheery colors to make the library more inviting to children and also to protect the books from humidity during the rainy season
  • Holding our first training for teachers and library support group members
  • Starting our ongoing training for teachers and the library support group.

We're off to a great start, but we could still use about five times more books!

We’re pleased to have come so far, but also know how much more we have to do.  For example, we need to grow our library stock. International guidelines recommend a minimum of 3,000 items in library stock, including books in Spanish, educational materials, etc.) to satisfy the needs of 250 students. And we still need to furnish three separate areas of the library: the investigation area, the story area, and the creativity area. In the meantime, we’re thrilled to be in our new space, and looking forward to watching our library—and the literacy and imaginations of the children—grow and grow.

student helping out
student helping out
Feb 2, 2012

Maternal Child Health updates

The Maternal Child Health Program has started the year with a bang. Last week we had our monthly class and focused on dental hygiene. The women received information related to the importance of and how to look after both baby teeth and permanent teeth. We distributed brushes to both mothers and children and practiced using the correct techniques.


We also announced to beneficiaries new services to be provided this year, including a Cervical Cancer and Pap Smear Clinic day and the family planning method of their choice. While the fertility rate across Guatemala has dropped to 4 births per woman, in and around Santiago Atitlán it still averages 7. Many women desire to space their children or prevent additional pregnancies but do not have the resources to purchase a method. We are excited to be adding these crucial reproductive health services to the MCH Program, services which will ensure the continued good health of the women which in turn will allow them to better care for their children.

Jan 23, 2012

All Pumped up About WASH!

This week we began installing a water tank at the La Cumbre School to pump much-needed water across the property. Due to low water pressure throughout town, the school often had very little water and toilets could not be flushed. Water is pumped from existing tanks at the school into this new tank, creating sufficient water pressure to ensure that the school will always have running water. We’re installing pipes from this tank to another set of bathrooms on another part of the property for the same reason. We should be done with construction by Monday—the first day of class!

Late last year we also built hand-washing stations for the children at La Cumbre. Where they once had one, not-so-child-friendly place to wash their hands, they now have four child-friendly wash stations.

Other WASH activities this week include the creation of the first teacher training manual and training at two schools. We are excited to be conducting these trainings that will make the WASH project sustainable beyond Pueblo a Pueblo’s presence. There will be three trainings during the school year, focusing on different hygiene topics and providing teachers with tools for incorporating these topics into their daily lesson plans. Keep watching the blog for updates.

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