A look into Life, Love and Light
The other day while I was eating my dinner, I stuck up a conversation with a girl sitting nearby. She told me that she was volunteering at the owner’s school for the mentally challenged. Of course this got me really interested and I asked Don the owner, if I may be able to come by his school. He obliged and today I went. To bluntly put it, Guatemala is not the best country to live in as a mentally challenged person, in fact, this is the only school of its kind in the region. With schools already filled to capacity, and the education already sub-par, those with handicaps are left behind. Don was telling me that it isnt odd to see a mentally challenged child tied up to the porch of ones house. Poverty is everywhere in this country and schools like these are very important. Although this school is operated on a shoestring budget, lacking adequate materials such as reading glasses and more books, it is still something to be proud of as it focuses on teaching these students the Spanish alphabet and basic living skills. I encourage you to take a look at their website at www.mayanhope.org to learn more.
This is Migel. He is 14 days old and weighs 5 pounds. Here his temperature is taken. It is normal. As he is so underweight, Save the Children staff makes weekly visits and instructs the mother as to what needs to be done in order for him to gain weight. The most important food that she can deliver is her own breast milk.
And a big Yawn.
In this small community a few miles from Nebaj, there are 54 underweight children. Promasa, a project created by Save the Children helps out in the community by donating supplies and food. This is Juma Jat Castro, she is 2 1/2 years old.
Yesterday I spent the day in Panajachel to view one the most popular scenes in Central America, Lago Atitlán.
This is Nelson Pacheco Lux. He is 15 months old and lives in the Lagunita community of Chipaj, Quiche. He suffers from chronic malnutrition and was weighed today at 13 lbs 12 oz, at least 5 lbs under the low end of the healthy weight scale. Save the Children focuses on helping families with children between the ages of 1-3 because this is the most vital stage in their life for development. One of the hardest things that Save faces when working in the field says, Carlos Izaguirre, a nutritionist, is the unwilling nature of the parents. Many feel that because they were hungry when they were young, that it is ok for their children to do the same. Save the Children is trying to combat this with monthly visits that include educational classes as well as short term and long term goals.
Maura Tumhash and her 15 month old son Ricardo Chamatum-tum inside her house in the San Lucas community of Chipaj, Quiche. Ricardo has been benefiting from Save the Childrens program by their donations of food – rice, oil and goat milk.
Today I traveled to a small village called San Lucas in Chipaj, Quiche with a group of 3 nutritionists. Together they demonstrated how to make bread. Afterward, we ate.