As the 2011 school year comes to an end this week in Santiago Atitlan, Pueblo a Pueblo reflects back on the growth and impact that the School Lunch program has had throughout the year. Now serving lunch in three rural schools, Panabaj, Chacaya, and La Cumbre, Pueblo a Pueblo is providing healthy and nutritious meals to over 700 children who would not otherwise have access to a meal of protein and important vitamins and minerals. Instead of a typical lunch at home of corn tortillas and salsa, or salt, children in the Pueblo a Pueblo School Lunch program are eating chicken with beans and rice, beef stew, and on other days spaghetti with vegetables. The mere existence of the school lunch program and certainty that children will be fed during school is an incentive for poor agricultural families to send their children to school. November does not only mark the end of the school year but also the beginning of the coffee harvest throughout the region. This is a busy time for families whose livelihood is dependent on the coffee harvest and young children are often pulled out of school to help harvest. The incentive of a hot lunch is enough to keep many of those children in school up to the last days of class, enabling them to complete all of their final exams and continue on to the next year.
Looking forward Pueblo a Pueblo is entering an exciting time of growth! With your support we hope to be able to expand to two more schools in the coming year, providing a much needed hot daily lunch to an additional 530 children of Atitlan, Guatemala.
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