Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children

by Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
A Panabaj student with her new uniform
A Panabaj student with her new uniform

Last week, project manager Johanny visited Panabaj School to deliver brand new athletic uniforms to students in the primary school scholarships program. All primary school students are required to buy a uniform for gym class, a cost which many families in this region struggle to meet. All Pueblo a Pueblo school sponsorships include athletic uniforms to remove this barrier to school attendance.

Upon arriving, Johanny greeted Pueblo a Pueblo partner Concepción Samuc, a teacher at Panabaj who serves as a key link between the scholarship team and the school. Concepción and Johanny work together to coordinate all scholarship activities, like today’s uniform delivery - when it comes to the scholarship program, she makes our world go 'round!

Johanny also took advantage of an opportunity to chat with the mother of a sponsored student who happened to be passing by. She was concerned about the boy’s attendance at school, she explained, and inquired what could be done to help. Visits like these not only put uniforms in the hands of students, but they are also vital to the connectivity of Pueblo a Pueblo programs to the communities where participants live. By showing up and reaching out, Johanny is able to solve problems before they begin and bring real knowledge of communities like Panabaj into the Pueblo a Pueblo office.

Concepcion helps students find their uniforms
Concepcion helps students find their uniforms
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Getting new school supplies each year is one of the best parts of going back to school. But, for many families in the Solola Department, the costs of new supplies is a barrier to education.

The Guatemalan school year began in early January. Our Primary Education Scholarship (PES) Project began this year by distributing backpacks and school supplies.  Thanks to you, 99 children received new school supplies.

Your support enables the families to save what they’ve earned, likely picking coffee during the school break. Not being able to afford school supplies is a common contributor to the 14% of children who never attend school and the 27% of children who  begin, but don’t finish, their primary education.

The backpacks were filled with rulers, colored pencils, notebooks, scissors, pencils, and markers. One by one, each child received her or his new backpack and materials and excitedly looked through it.  The children are always excited to see what color notebooks they got trade with their friends until they have just the right color.

We’re so happy that at least the students had one less barrier to their education. And when they sport their brand new Pueblo a Pueblo backpacks in their classrooms, we know they are proud and happy as well. On their behalf, we thank you  for your support!  Your generosity makes all of this possible.

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The 2017 Panabaj Primary School graduating class
The 2017 Panabaj Primary School graduating class

The Guatemalan school year is over. It's an exciting time at Pueblo a Pueblo! We celebrated alongside three beneficiary students at Panabaj Primary School. Andrea, Magdalena and Jose sat next to each other among their classmates and, with a handshake from the director, received their diplomas. This is a feat worth celebrating, as they became part of the 14 percent of youth in Department Solola that complete their primary education.*

We’re always ecstatic when our beneficiary students succeed. In rural Guatemala, there seem to be more obstacles than opportunities for children to get an education.

“The main educational challenge kids face is money,” says Johanny Quieju, the Primary Education Scholarship Project Manager. “Families either don’t have enough money to provide their children with supplies or things they need, or they don’t have enough money in general and the kids start working at a young age to contribute to the household income,” she explains.

Pueblo a Pueblo exists to relieve some of these challenges for students who otherwise wouldn’t have the resources or support to pursue primary education. With help from your GlobalGiving support, students receive support to pay school enrollment fees, school supplies, gym clothes and shoes, access to medical services and one-on-one tutoring.


We can’t take all the credit, though. Andrea, Magdalena and Jose put in their fair share of effort to complete their primary education. They fulfilled the attendance 90% requirement set forth by Pueblo a Pueblo and worked hard to pass their classes and reach a milestone.


It's a time for all of us to celebrate the accomplishemnts of these students, as we couldn;t have done it without you. Thank you for  sharing our vision of education as a tool for success and for contrinuting to the belief that every child deserves the opportunity to complete a primary education, regardless of their economic circumstances. Thank you! We did it!

*Guatemala National Institute of Statistics (2017)

Magdalena, Andrea and Jose graduated!
Magdalena, Andrea and Jose graduated!
Magdalena receives her primary school diploma
Magdalena receives her primary school diploma
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Women gathered for the "charla"
Women gathered for the "charla"

At Pueblo a Pueblo we know that providing primary education scholarships to children is not enough to ensure their academic success. The goal of our Primary Education Scholarships (PES) Program is to provide children with the support they need to succeed in the classroom. In order to reach this goal, it is necessary to think beyond notebooks and pencils and also consider the effect that home dynamics have on students. Recently, our PES team hosted a “charla”, or chat, and invited the parents of the beneficiary children to attend and learn and talk about responsible parenting.

“The chat focused on talking about the potential outcomes of a child who is raised under an unhealthily stern and strict household, a parenting style that is very common in these communities” Johanny Quieju, the Primary Education Scholarship Program Manager, said.

The program team monitors the kids’ attendance, grades, and overall performance during the school year to make sure we address any potential risks to them not succeeding.The need for an event like this arose after noticing a common theme among the PES students who began showing signs of disinterest in school. “When we talk to the kids who are missing school alot, getting low grades, missing tutoring sessions or have a negative attitude towards school, the issue points back towards unhealthy family dynamics” Johanny added.

About 27 women gathered on the basketball court of Panabaj Primary School to attend the discussion about foster ing supportive relationships and encouragement for their students to reach their full academic potential. The chat consisted of open discussion and tips on how to make strides towards raising confident and successful children. One mother even said that she appreciated the event because she wanted to provide the best kind of parenting she could to her son, even though her parenting style is much more affectionate than the one she received. Your GlobalGiving donations make it possible for local children to succeed in school and receive the holistic support they need to fulfill their academic potential. Thank You!

The "charla" focused on responsible parenting
The "charla" focused on responsible parenting
Participants in the "charla"
Participants in the "charla"
Discussing the importance of responsible parenting
Discussing the importance of responsible parenting
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Chukmuk students at tutoria
Chukmuk students at tutoria

After classes end for the day at Chukmuk Primary School, a small group of students circle back to the library for an afternoon filled with games, stories, and puzzles. “Today is tutoría day!” (tutoring day) exclaims Maria, a fourth grade student.

Last month, our Primary Education Scholarships Project officially launched tutoring sessions for the 2017 school year. Although the scholarships project began in 2006, our team added the tutoring component in 2016.

In communities throughout rural Guatemala, children face many barriers to a good education. There are limited school resources, overcrowded classrooms, and under trained teachers. With difficult economic conditions and underfunded schools, struggling students are often left behind. The result is persistent illiteracy, high grade repetition, and low levels of schooling (ENCOVI).

“Through our monitoring and evaluation results, and our meetings with teachers, we realized that some of our sponsored students needed a little more support in class,” explained Johanny Quieju, the project manager. “That’s when we began to develop one-on-one tutoring services.”

“When students fall behind in class, schools here don’t have the resources to support these children. Students then stop attending school, or even drop out,” Johanny adds. Students in our Primary Education Scholarships Project get individualized attention from Isabela Chichom, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Project Tutor.

Currently, Pueblo a Pueblo offers tutoring services in three subjects--Spanish, math, and science, for students between fourth and fifth grades. This year, 11 sponsored students are enrolled in the tutoring sessions at Chukmuk and Panabaj Primary Schools.

“I feel like I’m doing well in tutoría,” says Franco, fourth grader at Chukmuk Primary School. “Whenever I don’t understand something, I can ask Ms. Isabela for help. I feel more confident in class now.”

For Isabela Chichom, she’s encouraged by the development of Pueblo a Pueblo’s tutoring sessions. “We’re excited to see tutoría grow over the next few years, so that more students can get the support they need to succeed.”

Franco, a 4th grade student, reading a story
Franco, a 4th grade student, reading a story
Isabela, tutor, reading a book to the students
Isabela, tutor, reading a book to the students
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Organization Information

Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.

Location: Neenah, WI - USA
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Twitter: @Pueblo_a_Pueblo
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Neenah, WI United States
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