You may remember Fernando-André, who started at the Acorn Childcare Center in January. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Guatemala, his mother Cinthia lost her job selling educational resources. She and Fernando moved in with her grandmother for the lock-down, because the house where they lived before was very crowded. Her grandmother was also without work or income due to the pandemic, and so they were soon unable to pay the rent and lost their home. Fortunately, her grandmother secured work as a caretaker for a school. She is not paid, but they can live there in return for cleaning and caring for the building. Cinthia has finally found work at a restaurant, helping to co-ordinate and deliver food to people at home. She is paid less than the minimum wage, but any income is better than nothing.
The economic impact of the pandemic in Guatemala has been devastating. In the streets near the Acorn Childcare Center people hold white flags to show that they are hungry and in need of food. There is so little work available that many people are left with no alternative but to beg in the streets. Government aid does not seem to be reaching the people that need it most.
Fernando misses his friends at the Acorn Childcare Center, and the comfort of a caring place with regular wholesome meals, but the resources provided by the Center and the daily videos give him something to hold onto. Every morning he asks, “What activity am I going to do with my teachers today?”. The food allowance from the Center has helped him to stay healthy and the connection she has with the Center gives Cinthia hope for their future. She is deeply grateful. We want to sincerely thank you for your part in sustaining families like Fernando’s through such difficult times.
A new year has started at the Acorn Childcare Center. We are welcoming back some familiar faces from last year and are helping some new children to feel part of this caring community.
One of these children is Fernando, who turns three next month. He lives with his mother and 5 other relatives in a small rented house, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away from the Center. Their community is very rural so they have to walk quite a bit before they can access public transport. Fernando’s mother, Cinthia, became pregnant when she was 16 years old before she had finished high school. Her boyfriend left when he learned that she was pregnant, so Fernando has never had any relationship with his father.
With the help of her grandmother, Cinthia finished high school and graduated from the public college with a teaching degree for preschool. Although it is her dream to work as a teacher, it has been hard to find work locally and she found a job selling school supplies. She works 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, so she has very little time to share with her son.
Cinthia applied to the Center because of recommendations from families of former students. She urgently needs childcare while she works long hours and she is very excited to have this opportunity for her son to get a good start on his education.
From his first day, Fernando adapted very easily to the routines at the Center. He behaves very well and is very happy because he has found new friends and enjoys having so many activities that are appropriate for his age and interests. Cinthia and her grandmother, who brings him to and from the Center every day, are very happy and filled with hope for his future.
Because of your generosity we are able to give young students like Fernando André a better start despite their economic and family difficulties. Thank you!
Children’s Day, celebrated in Guatemala at the start of October, is always an important occasion at the Acorn Childcare Center. Our staff planned carefully to make sure that it was a day that felt special and made all the children feel loved, appreciated and joyful.
From the moment the children arrived, there was a feeling of excitement in the air. Our teachers explained to the children that this was their day and that everyone was celebrating them! After breakfast, they dressed up in their favorite costumes and had a dance party.
For snack, they had a special treat: ice-cream! Afterwards they enjoyed an interactive puppet show which made them giggle and laugh out loud. They had a specially prepared lunch of roast chicken with french fries — a treat that they loved. Our rest area was converted into a cinema for the afternoon and they curled up all cozy under their blankets and watched a movie together. At the end of the day, each child was given a toy, wrapped up as a gift, to take home.
For children who have had being growing up in the harsh realities of extreme poverty and violence, this day was a joyful celebration that brought laughter, encouragement, and hope. Thank you for your support and for making joyful moments like these possible for our children
We have been able to continue to provide loving care and attention for children and families battling extreme poverty. Jacob is a 2 year old boy who recently arrived at the Acorn Childcare Center. Jacob lives with his mother and grandparents. His mother works long hours at a stationery store to be able to provide food and basic essentials for Jacob and for her parents. She had previously paid somebody whatever she could afford to look after Jacob, but he had been very neglected. He wasn’t getting enough to eat, and when he broke his arm falling out of a bed, his mother knew she needed to find him a better situation. She heard from a relative that the Acorn Center was a safe and caring place for children. From his very first day, Jacob was really happy to be with children his own age. He really enjoys the nutritious meals at the Center and is growing stronger. He plays very well with the other children and has learned to share and to be considerate of others. Having Jacob at the Center is an enormous source of encouragement to his mother and she is so grateful. Jacob now has a safe place to play and learn and grow, and they have a caring community of support around them.
Thank-you so much for your part in providing that for them.
As always, we are so grateful for your continued support of the Acorn Childcare Center in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. On behalf of the children, parents, staff and board of directors, we are incredibly grateful for your continued financial support and trust in the work that we do.
The chldren of the Acorn Childcare Center are receiving a high quality early childhood education. We are truly breaking the cycle of poverty and violence, one child at a time.
Check out the beautiful photos of:
Children celebrating their mothers for Mother's Day, Birthdays, and dressing up in costumes for a children's day celebration
Playing with puzzles and learning about the different types of transportation
Eating nutritous meals and learning about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.
We hope you enjoy seeing these amazing children learning and growing with the love and support of great teachers and staff to help change the cycle of violence.
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