The reality in Acatenango Community and the impact to families that benefit from Daycare Project
Acatenango is located in the province of Chimaltenango,a rural region with approximately 19,000 inhabitants, most of whom are indigenous. The economy of this region relies mainly of agricultural crops, coffee, corn, beans and avocado. The majority of people rely on seasonal work on coffee plantations for at least part of their income. Under normal circumstances this seasonal labor does not provide enough income for the entire year. Due to the coffee leaf rust, which has hit this region particularly hard with losses of up to 70% of the harvest in 2013, incomes have dropped precipitously since that year.
The region is characterized by high levels of marginalization with 61.8% of the population living in poverty and more than 80% of workers unable to earn at least the minimum wage. In 2016, inflation has resulted in the rise of the cost of basic goods leaving the cost of the food basket, which includes enough food to feed a family of five, out of reach of most families in the region. A survey made by Las Nubes Team, identified that the majority of children attending the local elementary school in Acatenango eat only 1 or 2 meals each day, consisting solely of rice, beans and some vegetables. This is an inadequate foundation for strong performance in school.
The lack of economic resources and opportunity has created a strong dependence on coffee as a cash crop and has prevented the community from having much hope or vision for improving their quality of life. Very little emphasis is put on education as a viable solution to poverty. This is reflected in the most recent statistics from Guatemala’s Ministry of Education, which estimate that in Acatenango only 37% of children go on to complete their first years of secondary school. According to data compiled by Las Nubes Project, once children reach 8 years of age, they are regularly expected to help their families earn a living from coffee rather than continuing with their school.
Las Nubes Project has a strategic vision for a better future for these children and their families. By helping the region’s most vulnerable children with their school work, incorporating activities that increase self-esteem for both children and parents. Las Nubes help to create opportunities for kids to succeed at school and improve their future prospects.
Las Nubes provide a safe and nurturing environment for children to learn, and it also provides support to mothers who can then work outside the home full time without worrying about their children’s safety. The mothers of students at Las Nubes take full advantage of this community resource to help increase their household incomes. In addition to increasing household incomes, mothers are able to increase their own knowledge through workshops open to parents.
Follow the next video to take a close up of what we do at Las Nubes Daycare and Afterschool Centre