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Apr 19, 2012

Moving forward in Panabaj


Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, parents and teachers of Panabaj Primary School are busily working on repairing the facilities so that their children can learn in a safe space.

Work supported to date includes the construction of 2 containment walls to protect the school from future mudslides, a gate for the main entrance, a new stove for the kitchen, and a storage area for school supplies. We also repaired classroom doors that were salvageable. In the coming weeks we will be installing doors and windows for the remaining classrooms, putting the final touches on the containment walls, and installing electricity so that the classrooms will have light.

Next we are planning to paint both inside and outside the classrooms with the help of a group of volunteers from the Cole Family Foundation.

Parents and teachers are thrilled to be back in a space designed for teaching. One teacher told us, “We no longer wreck our lungs trying to be heard over noise from neighboring classrooms like we did in the provisional school where the walls were just plywood.” Juan Ramirez, the president of the Parents Association, told us “The children, parents, and teachers are very happy to be back in the school.”

Apr 10, 2012

We're reaching over 1000 children!

The Pueblo a Pueblo School Lunch Program has been even more important this year to the six elementary schools where school lunch is served through Pueblo a Pueblo. Because of a lack of resources and difficult economic climate schools that are normally supported by the Guatemalan government with a morning snack have yet to receive funding.  Therefore, Pueblo a Pueblo’s school lunch has been providing the only nutritious and healthy food that children will receive during the school day.  Additionally, because of the continued support of donors we have just begun to serve lunch in our sixth school Panaj!  The Santiago school of Panaj is located in the town of Santiago Atitlan and serves 293 students with its very limited resources.  The school community, under the leadership of the school Principle Rebeca Ramirez have come together to organize the implementation of the school lunch project and developed a healthy menu.  The school lunch project in Panaj will be complemented with the produce harvested from the school organic garden that Pueblo a Pueblo broke ground on this past month!!  Pueblo a Pueblo is now proud to be able to provide a daily nutritious meal to over 1,100 students through the school lunch program making a very important impact on school attendance, mal nutrition rates, and student performance! Thank you for your support!

Apr 9, 2012

Lessons that last

Last week we completed the first teacher training at Tzan Chaj Primary School, our newest WASH partner.

The training began with a discussion of what the school is already doing to improve hygiene among students. While all the teachers are implementing some amount of hygiene activities in their classrooms, they agreed they could do more and set objectives to work on throughout the year, including to increase drinking of purified water to 85% of students by the end of the school year and to increase correct disposal of trash by students to 80% by the end of the school year.

Teachers received a manual with a variety of lesson plans related to the importance of hygiene, washing hands, dental hygiene, and water-borne illnesses and how to avoid them. These activities can be adapted depending on the age of students and time available.

Teachers had a chance to create some materials for their classrooms, including a “hygiene wheel” used to monitor children’s personal hygiene on a daily basis in a fun, interactive way. The wheel has an arrow that students can spin, then depending on which part of the body it falls on the teacher and students will then inspect it and talk about how to improve their hygiene. Some of the areas included on the wheel are hands, hair, teeth and nails. Our next training will provide teachers with tools for how to teach students how to properly use a flush toilet, water conservation, and how to prepare and keep food clean and safe to eat.

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