Dear Amigos of Mil Milagros,
We at Mil Milagros are excited to update you on our work with nearly 600 mothers and grandmothers and 55 teachers with whom we partner to prepare 1,056 meals each school day. Once a month, 50 mother and grandmother leaders participate in nutrition workshops with MM’s Nutrition and Hygiene Coordinator. They learn about nutrition, how to adapt traditional menus to make them healthier and more “colorful” (by adding more veggies), how to ensure good hygiene in the school kitchens, how to be effective leaders, and how to train their mother and grandmother peers. While the teachers help with food purchases in some of our partner schools, increasingly it is the mothers who are assuming responsibility for shopping and securing high-quality food products at reasonable prices. Our team of staff works with the mothers to adjust the menus to take advantage of fruits and vegetables when they are in season and more affordable. In the Guatemala Highlands, peaches and apples are now in season and the children love them.
One of our most noteworthy accomplishments has been working with the mothers, grandmothers, teachers and the children to cultivate a habit of drinking water. Due to the widespread contamination of the water supply in Guatemala, there is no culture of drinking water. In fact, soda is commonly referred to as “agua.” Thanks to the generous support of Water Charity, we have been able to install water filters in each of our school kitchens and in every classroom. The children in each of our partner schools now drink water with their lunch – and throughout the day. Poco a poco, we are seeing the children’s diets replace sugary drinks with clean water and a piece of fruit.
While the children eat nourishing meals each school day and drink more and more water, we are also working with each school to improve the children’s health and hygiene. Through our partnership with the Ministry of Education’s Healthy Schools Program, we have implemented a hygiene curriculum in each school. Thanks to the generous support of many friends and donors, we are able to provide each child with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap every three months along with a fluoride varnish twice a year, toilet paper, deworming medicines, and lice shampoo. As one visitor to our schools recently commented, “The Mil Milagros children are much healthier and cleaner than the children in most other schools.”
Every child deserves to be healthy and clean, to be well fed, and to become literate. With your help, Mil Milagros is making this possible for some 1,000 children in six rural communities. With your continued support, we will be able to reach many more. Mil gracias!
Mothers in a Nutrition Workshop
Mothers Serve a Healthy Lunch
A Water Filter Installation