Aug 16, 2021

Return to Santiago: A New Normal

Thank you for your support of our work in Santiago.  We wanted to send an update on our recent visit to Santiago and our ongoing work in the community.  In July, two members of our team were finally able to return to Santiago.  Although our team has become skilled at communicating via Zoom, it had been 18 months since our last visit to Santiago and our visit was jam-packed with schools visits, program evaluation and a graduation ceremony.  Here are a few updates to our programs:

School Health Education Program:

In early 2021, Mayanza hired another health educator to work in the schools, teaching health education topics such as hygiene, nutrition, disease prevention, importance of exercise and understanding our emotions.  Although the school are closed to in-person instruction now, our educators have been providing home visits, homework packets and small group, socially distanced lessons depending on the government restrictions in place.  We were able to observe two engagning and information health education lessons at David LaMotte School and Escuela Panul that focused on healthy eating and understanding emotions.

Health Mothers Program at Puerta Abierta:

In February 2020, we recruited a group of mothers to participate in a year long education program aimed at providing education and skills on nutrition, portion control, exercise, stress management and goal setting.  Despite a pause due to the pandemic, the women were finally able to complete their program and received a certificate of completion at our graduation ceremony.  Earlier in the day, the women chose an activity that would allow them to demonstrate their newly achieved level of fitness.  The group went birdwatching in the forests of Atitlan Volcano and for the first time, many of the women were able to view the Resplendant Quetzel in its native habitat.  What a special day for all!

Healthy Mothers at Tzanchaj

Building upon our successful gardens and chickens program during 2020, we began a new program in March 2021.  We recruited a group of women who were interested in learning more about improving the health of themselves and their families.  The weekly sessions focus on healthy eating, hygiene, exercise, female reproduction and contraception, mental health and empowerment of women.  We have partnered with a number of local organizations who are helping to deliver this content.  During our visit, we conducted a program evaluation, which will help drive future programming and we were able to visit our garden that provides women with education and a supply of fresh vegetables.

It was wonderful to be back to visit our friends in Santiago and see that our important work is continuing.  The Delta variant is now sweeping through Santiago, where medical care is scarce and we hope that you keep the people of Santiago in your thoughts and prayers.  

Aug 15, 2021

Return to Santiago: A New Normal

Thank you for your support of our work in Santiago.  We wanted to send an update on our recent visit to Santiago and our ongoing work in the community.  In July, two members of our team were finally able to return to Santiago.  Although our team has become skilled at communicating via Zoom, it had been 18 months since our last visit to Santiago and our visit was jam-packed with schools visits, program evaluation and a graduation ceremony.  Here are a few updates to our programs:

School Health Education Program:

In early 2021, Mayanza hired another health educator to work in the schools, teaching health education topics such as hygiene, nutrition, disease prevention, importance of exercise and understanding our emotions.  Although the school are closed to in-person instruction now, our educators have been providing home visits, homework packets and small group, socially distanced lessons depending on the government restrictions in place.  We were able to observe two engagning and information health education lessons at David LaMotte School and Escuela Panul that focused on healthy eating and understanding emotions.

Health Mothers Program at Puerta Abierta:

In February 2020, we recruited a group of mothers to participate in a year long education program aimed at providing education and skills on nutrition, portion control, exercise, stress management and goal setting.  Despite a pause due to the pandemic, the women were finally able to complete their program and received a certificate of completion at our graduation ceremony.  Earlier in the day, the women chose an activity that would allow them to demonstrate their newly achieved level of fitness.  The group went birdwatching in the forests of Atitlan Volcano and for the first time, many of the women were able to view the Resplendant Quetzel in its native habitat.  What a special day for all!

Healthy Mothers at Tzanchaj

Building upon our successful gardens and chickens program during 2020, we began a new program in March 2021.  We recruited a group of women who were interested in learning more about improving the health of themselves and their families.  The weekly sessions focus on healthy eating, hygiene, exercise, female reproduction and contraception, mental health and empowerment of women.  We have partnered with a number of local organizations who are helping to deliver this content.  During our visit, we conducted a program evaluation, which will help drive future programming and we were able to visit our garden that provides women with education and a supply of fresh vegetables.

It was wonderful to be back to visit our friends in Santiago and see that our important work is continuing.  The Delta variant is now sweeping through Santiago, where medical care is scarce and we hope that you keep the people of Santiago in your thoughts and prayers.  

Apr 20, 2021

A Return to a New Normal

Hello Friends,

It has been a few months since our last update and we wanted to check in with you and let you know what's new.  Although the COVID case rates continue to be high in Guatemala, there is some semblance of a return to a new normal and Mayanza is working hard to adapt to the overwhelming needs of the community of Santiago Atitlan and the restrictions put in place by the Guatemalan government.  A few highlights from the last few months include hiring a new teacher for our team, returning to work in the schools, starting a new project in Tzachaj and creative fundraising efforts.

A New Teacher for Our Team

We are happy to announce the newest member of our team, health educator Juan Elías Esquina Damián.  Elias grew up in Tzanchaj with a large family speaking both Spanish and Tzutujil, the local Maya language, completed his teacher training and is excited to be working with Mayanza to improve the health of his community.  He will be working with our current educator, Lola Ajtujal Chiviliu in the schools to reinforce important health topics of nutrition, hygiene, exercise and disease prevention.

Back to School

And speaking of schools, our program has shifted to adapt to the Guatemalan government's restrictions in schools.  Every school has needed protective equipemnt and cleaning supplies to protect the children and teachers.  We are now focusing on the pre-school, kindergarten and first grade aged children in an attempt to impact their behavior from a young age.  Our time in the schools is limited compared to the past, but the educators make the most of it.  Sometimes, they even visit the children at home and bring their lessons and Andrés our traveling tiger who helps our team to teach toothbrushing.

Health Women Tzanchaj

After collecting data for a needs assessment in March, we have begun a new program with 18 women in the community of Tzanchaj.  We are focusing on health education in the areas of nutrition, exercise, hygiene and disease prevention.  We are partnering with local organizations and planning to have guest speakers from the community to talk about menstrual health and reproduction, growing herbs and plants for health, stress management and implementing ventilated cookstoves and water filters as part of our programming.  Stay tuned for updates on the outcomes of this exciting new project!

Creative Fundraising

Over the past few months, we launched a series of webinars to showcase the beautiful craftsmanship of Guatemalan artisans and create awareness for Mayanza.  We demonstrated Mayan tortilla making, artisanal chocolate and backstrap weaving.  These events were a success and helped create revenue for small business owners in Guatemala.

These projects could not happen without your support!  Thank you for all of support in the past and please consider helping us to continue our work.  There are lots of ways to support the work that we do.  

  1. Consider making a tax-deductible donation to Mayanza today.  Your donation will support the projects that were mentioned above.
  2. Purchase Mayanza merchandise - there are lots of designs and colors to fit every style!
  3. Choose Mayanza as your non-profit to support when using Amazon Smile. 

Thanks again!

 
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