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 15, 2015

School Meals and Cooking Classes Support Learning

Students waiting in line to be measured!
Students waiting in line to be measured!

The end of the school year is upon us here in Santiago Atitlan! As the year comes to a close, Pueblo a Pueblo staff have been very busy collecting data for the School Health and Nutrition Program. This data collection involved traveling to our partner schools to measure the height and weight of students participating in our School Nutrition Project. The children thoroughly enjoyed being part of the evaluation process, and meeting more of Pueblo a Pueblo’s field staff!

These students, most of whom would not otherwise have access to healthy meals, each receive one delicious and nutritious breakfast every day at school. Having these healthy meals right when they arrive reduces the immediate hunger these children would normally feel, allowing them to better concentrate and participate in class throughout the day and be more successful students in the long-term!

The School Health and Nutrition Program has also been hosting cooking classes to teach children how to properly prepare the produce they are growing in their gardens, focusing on the preparation of vegetables. Most recently, the sixth grade class at San Andres School learned how to cook spinach for themselves – and they loved it! Local mothers have also been learning how to cook more nutritious meals for their kids. At La Cumbre School, ten mothers also took part in creative cooking classes. They learned how to properly prepare spinach from the gardens with spices and herbs such as amaranth and chard. Having the mothers also partake in this learning experience increases the likelihood that their families will have healthier eating habits at home!

In November, our program will host a vacation course at each school garden. The students will learn more gardening basics and plant cultivation, along with basic cooking skills to prepare simple recipes from the various produce in their gardens. It will be a very fun and educational experience for everyone, and we are very much looking forward to it!

One of our students getting measured!
One of our students getting measured!
Students participate in a cooking class
Students participate in a cooking class
Mothers learning to prepare nutritious meals
Mothers learning to prepare nutritious meals
Oct 14, 2015

Harvesting New Opportunities

Honey collected in last year
Honey collected in last year's harvest!

As the rainy season slowly comes to an end and flowers begin to bloom, honey harvest season is in the air! During last year’s harvest, the two communities we supported in our  Beekeeping Project, Pompojila and Totolya, collectively produced an incredible 750 lbs of honey! This November is the next anticipated harvest season, and with the expansion of apiaries in the Pompojila and Panimaquip communities, we are expecting similar, if not increased, results. Typically, honey is harvested about two or three times a year – depending on how quickly the bees fill up their hives.

Project Manager, Michelle Sims, has been looking forward to the coming harvest:

“Harvest season is the most exciting time of the year because the beekeepers finally see a payoff for the consistent work they have put in towards maintaining the hives in good health all year long-- and that payoff is in hundreds of pounds of honey! Plus, there's nothing more delicious than fresh honey.”

As of now, Aj Tikonel Kab’s honey is being sold in Santiago Atitlan, San Lucas and Panajachel – with plans to expand marketing and sales to other parts of Guatemala.

Additionally, the Beekeeping Project in the Huehuetenango site is set to begin in just a few days! Ten bee hives were installed last week. The bees are given about a week to fly around and adapt to their new home environment before Pueblo a Pueblo staff return for a week-long training with the women from La Cooperativa Crédito Esquipulas.

With the honey harvest right around the corner and the greatly anticipated project expansion in Huehuetenango underway, we could not be happier to see the fruits (or honey, rather) of our labor!

Genaro training beekeepers in Panimaquip
Genaro training beekeepers in Panimaquip
Investigating sites for the Huehuetenango apiary
Investigating sites for the Huehuetenango apiary
Oct 7, 2015

Fostering Youth Leadership and Literacy

The last time we wrote to you, we shared our excitement for the expansion of our school libraries in the Cerro de Oro community at the La Cumbre School.  The library first opened on April 14, 2015 and now averages 300 student visits each month with a stock of about 1,700 books. Now, Pueblo a Pueblo is excited to share more about how La Cumbre has been finding ways to foster youth leadership in the library through a student library club!

The Student Library Club is made up of eight 3rd through 6th graders – children selected for their personal interests in and frequent use of the library. These children have the shared task of providing support to their peers and younger students in weekly library activities. These activities include assisting peers in checking out books, storytelling with younger students and helping to catalog books alongside the school librarian.

“The goal is that the Student Library Club will become an integral part of the library program so that not only the teachers and librarians feel responsible for maintaining the activities, but also the students themselves.” Lillie, Child Education Program Assistant

Recently, on September 9th, the Student Library Club promoted International Literacy Day by reading stories to their peers during school recess! Spanish literacy is a constant challenge for the students since most are more comfortable speaking Tz’utujil, their native language, than Spanish. It was incredible to witness such commitment and responsibility demonstrated by the students in leading group reading activities.

Needless to say, the use of the library and an active Student Library Club has provided low literacy level students with greater confidence and ability of reading and understanding Spanish texts.

Recognizing the assets of a community includes local youth. Youth are very resilient and have many gifts to contribute if given the space, support and appropriate guidance. Thanks to your support, and the support of the Cerro de Oro community. The student leaders at the La Cumbre School now have a communal space and collection of books that allows them to indulge in their curiosity, develop literacy skills and realize their own strengths and leadership abilities.

 
   

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