Hello to all of you friends!
Thank you all to be following with interest our “A Word of Reading for Maya Children in Guatemala” project. As many of you know from our past updates, our project has encountered different obstacles on the past few months that have made us reconsider our initial location. At the beginning of June we suffered mudslides due to Hurricane Agatha and the original location for the Library was affected. It was clear that we needed to find a new space for the library. Immediately we approached the Community of Chukmuk which is a newly created community on the outskirts of Santiago Atitlán where the victims of Hurricane Stan (2005) from Panabaj Community have been reallocated.
Members of the Chukmuk community have formed a Library Committee and are working closely with us on the Library Project that will benefit not only all the children of Chukmuk but also adults who otherwise don’t have access to books.
The Chukmuk Community doesn’t have adequate services and the children of Chukmuk have to pay their way to town to find books and materials in order to do their homework. Also, for the families who live in Chukmuk, to have books at home is a luxury.
We are happy to announce that our now Chukmuk Community Library will be opening its doors very soon (some day this month to be determined!), even if only with few books and educational materials on the shelves. There is a great necessity from the community to have access to literature which has made us consider to open the Library somehow incomplete (it needs more books and materials) very soon.
We still need some more donations to be able to have more books on the Library shelves!
Thank you all!
School Nutrition Program Expands to Chukumuk
As families--many of them families of sponsored children--move from Panabaj to Chukumuk, Pueblo a Pueblo is expanding its school nutrition program. Beginning July 2010, we will help provide basic school nutrition to the students of the Chukumuk Provisional School. It is critical to support sponsored children at their new school, particularly in the face of storm-caused food shortages ahead. And after meetings between the school director and Pueblo a Pueblo staff, it became apparent that all of the children in Chukumuk could benefit from a program similar to our school lunch program in Panabaj.
Chukumuk students usually received only a morning snack, not lunch. Recently, even their snack has been discontinued due to lack of funding from the local government. Pueblo a Pueblo aspires to forge a strong relationship with Chukumuk, where many of our sponsored children's families are now moving. We are starting by resuming the morning snack for all of the students in Chukumuk, with the eventual goal of implementing a full school lunch program there in addition to our Panabaj program. Chukumuk currently has 326 students and attendance, which could jump to 540 as children from Panabaj continue to move to the community.
Your generous donations in June are helping us to start their school nutrition program almost immediately, before post-Agatha shortages can cause malnutrition. Any additional help you can spare can help make sure we can continue these programs.
Jun 17, 2010
School Library Update 6/16/2010
By Johanny Quieju - School Library Coordinator
Library Building After the Storm
Progress continues on the school library despite setbacks created by tropical storm Agatha. Tropical storm Agatha, which devastated Guatemala, caused the evacuation of the entire neighborhood of Panabaj, where the school library is being installed. When the storm cleared it was evident that a lot of clean-up was necessary in the community of Panabaj, and the library building was not an exception. A wall in the back of the building fell and the basketball court in the front of the school has been completely filled with mud. Luckily, the library in the second floor and was unaffected by the storm.
Just two days after the storm carpenters were hard at work installing the book shelves in the library. The structure of the library is coming together now that the walls are painted, bookshelves are installed, and there are two large work tables for the children to use. Next on the list of things to do is the selection of books that will make up the library.
We are excited about the progress being made at the library. We look forward to when the doors open and the students can benefit from greater access to books and reading.