We thank you for your support and donations during the last few months.
Your assistance makes our success possible. Our students returned from vacation in January ( vacations here in Guatemala are from November to mid-January, similar to summer vacation in U.S.A).
To truly understand our children's health needs, we measure their height and weight to assess their needs. Malnutrition is all too common in Guatemala, which can result in children being both underweight and overweight. Some families in our community are suffering economic problems which results in consuming too many carbohydrates, with a diet of mostly beans, rice, and tortillas.
In the Kindergarten group, we discovered that improvements have been made. In January 23, the majority of our new students were underweight. By January 24, the situation has improved, with only 16 students still being underweight. In 1st to 6th grades. we managed to reduce by 28% the number of children that are overweight.
In the elementary school, we have been focusing on food and nutrition, as a hungry child cannot learn. This year we have the support again of a certified nutritionist to evaluate the menus that the students eat every day. After the first results of measuring their height and weight, we met with the kitchen managers, who give us vital support, Dr. Valle our school doctor, and the health/wellness managers so that together we can provide nutritional health to each child, but especially to underweight students. During the year we do this analysis 3 times (January, June and October) to evaluate the success of the process.
For the underweight children, we are providing an extra lunch which they can take home. For those that are overweight, we adjust their portions here in the school, but more importantly, we meet with parents to ensure they understand the importance of balance in the children’s diet.
To ensure we are cooking in the best way possible we installed a new ceramic floor in the kitchen which is more sanitary than the cement floor that we had and we also purchased essential supplies for the kitchen.
We are very proud of our accomplishments in the health and wellness program and we promise to continue to work hard this year for even better results.
Muchas Gracias from the team at El Patojismo, Jocotenango, Guatemala.