We are proud to run several Preschool Nutrition Centers in rural communities throughout the Lake Atitlán region. These centers give children from the some of the most impoverished families the chance to start their education as early as possible and to receive critical nutritional assistance to lower malnutrition and undernutrition rates which hinder early childhood development.
Our Preschool Nutrition Centers focus on four main areas:
Nearly half of all preschool-aged children in Guatemala are malnourished. Within the indigenous communities we work in, up to 80% of children under the age of five may be chronically malnourished. Poor nutrition during the early years of development can cause these children to suffer lifelong physical and cognitive impairments that are often irreversible, and can seriously inhibit their ability to have a successful education.
That’s why we provide each preschool student with a nutritious meal and snack every day, as well as a daily multivitamin. Mayan Families staff members also monitor the growth of each student to ensure they are attaining adequate height and weight for their age.
In most of the communities where our Preschool Nutrition Centers are located, Spanish is not spoken in the home. Children grow up learning and communicating in the regional indigenous Maya languages of Kaqchickel or Tz’utujil. The public Guatemalan school curriculum is taught in Spanish, and students without that language preparation are at an extreme disadvantage. Our centers offer bilingual education to ensure Spanish fluency among our students. By introducing Spanish at an earlier age we effectively take advantage of the developmental stage at which children are more susceptible to language acquisition.
Parent Education & Involvement
Many of preschoolers’ parents did not receive a formal education and are unfamiliar with (and often intimidated by) the educational system. We help parents support their children by providing informational sessions and one-on-one discussions about the importance of school attendance, evaluation methods and more. We also use this opportunity to educate parents on key topics such as hygiene and family planning.
How to get involved
We proudly operate each one of our Preschool Nutrition Centers, which requires funding teachers’ and cooks’ salaries, rent, classroom supplies, electricity, and other maintenance as necessary. Help us keep running our five Preschool Nutrition Centers by donating today!
We have hundreds of preschoolers attending our Preschool Nutrition Centers, all of whom need sponsors. Consider sponsoring their yearly education for just $420/year by clicking here.
To learn more
Please email education@mayanfamilies for more information!