Updates from Mayanza
In rural Guatemala, where entire families help with the harvest of coffee beans, schools ends in late October. This means that during this break from school, the children do not receive a healthy snack and enrichment at home that would typically get in school. Mayanza has created a program to fill this gap for a group of local children in the community of Tzanchaj. These students attend one our partners schools during the school year and our program includes fun, interactive activities and a healthy snack each day for the month of November.
In our second year of this program, two teachers create learning activites related to health education, literacy, math, art, movement and music. The children rotate through interactive learning stations, have story time and then create art based upon their stories. And the healthy snacks are so important for the health development of the children. Your donations help us to provide this enrichment in preparation for return to school in the new year.
School resumes in January and our team returns in March 2023, so we will update you after our next trip back to Santiago!
We are grateful for your support and hope that you will consider a donation to Mayanza before the end of the year. This is such a critical time for us to build the funds to sustain our projects throughout the year and your donation, no matter the amount, is so important for our programs.
Updates from Mayanza
We are excited to share with you updates from our recent trip to Santiago the week of July 23. The children have returned to in-person learning and this was our first trip where we could work with the school children since 2020. Guatemala's economy was significantly impacted by the pandemic and continues to sustain impacts from inflation. These systemic factors directly impact the nutrition and health of children in Santiago.
We returned to the schools to continue our anemia program where each child is measured for growth, screened for anemia and given anti-worming medication and daily vitamins. These interventions occur twice yearly and our health educators have continued to work in the schools each week since they opened for in-person learning in the Spring. Our next steps are to analyze the data we have collected to determine the baseline level of anemia and then work to decrease it. We plan to return in February to continue this project.
Thank you for all of your support and donations to help us maintain our presence in Santiago despite the economic hardships we are all facing. You support means everying to us and allows us to continue our work.
If you haven't donated recently, please consider making a donation today to Mayanza . Recurring donations are matched during 2022 and these important donations allow us to sustain our work.
Muchas gracias! Thank you! Maltiox!
With the arrival of spring, and the relative decline of COVID cases, children in Guatemala are finally returning to in-person school consistenly for the first time since 2020. And for our health educators, this means there is a lot of work to be done and time to make up for. Both of our educators Lola and Elias are back in the schools throughout each week teaching topics such as hygiene, nutrition, exercise, and disease prevention.
Our team returned to Santiago in February, prior to the schools re-opening, and met with school administrators and teachers to perform a needs assessment. The needs assessment focused on areas of need directly related to topics consistent with our health education curriculum. We performed approximately 20 interviews with questions focused on the areas of hand hygiene, nutrition, exercise and dental hygiene. Our team will use this information to help drive our future projects to ensure that they are consistent with the areas of need identified by the schools.
In the next few months, we will be making decisions based upon the needs assessment and then start to implement our plans. We look forward to updating you about our progress with our next report. Thank you for all of your support of our work! Now that in-person school has returned, there is much work to be done and our team is ready to jump back in!
Happy Holidays! Its time for an update for Mayanza and we wanted to share our most recent work in Santiago. Students are traditionally on vacation from school from October to January and this year we wanted to give students that we work with a little extra enrichment during their time off.
Our Vacation Program included 15 children, from the ages of 3 - 12, from vulnerable families of the community of Tzanchaj. The students started their time at camp by practicing healthy behaviors of handwashing and toothbrushing. Then, they had lessons focused around health topics, art, math, music and movement and reading stories. They had time for free play and finished up their time with a healthy snack.
Over the past year, school has primarily been online and we have worked to provide health education on an individual level in student homes, to small groups in schools and with informational packets sent to the students homes. Just this week, we were very excited to learn that children will return to in-person school in January! We are looking forward to returning in February to provide a health clinic in the schools.
Thank you for all of your support during these difficult times! We look forward to sharing our ongoing work with you in 2022!
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.
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