Rural communities in Guatemala are trapped in a cycle of poverty as a result of inefficiencies in both the education and health systems. The illiteracy and drop out rates are among the highest in Latin America especially among women and girls. Children in rural areas who attend school often have low performance because of poor nutrition and an uninspired educational system. While children are the future for their communities there is little they can do without a full education.
There is much evidence that educational success depends on early stimulation and nutrition. Children who develop a reading habit are more likely to succeed in school and, clearly, good nutrition is fundamental for them to develop their potential. With marginally educated mothers intervention is required to break the cycle. These moms just do not know that their kids can't succeed with a diet of tortillas; nor do they understand the importance of developing pre-literacy skills.
We expect that by giving up to 300 pre-schoolers a sound start that they will have a much better chance to become successful professionals. As they start their formal education they will continue to receive support from the libraries through story hours, book clubs and other activities that develop creativity and critical thinking. With nutritional and educational support these future leaders will have the capacity to lead their communities towards better opportunities and a better future.
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