As Guatemala has the 4th highest rate of malnutrition in the world, AdJ knew that the first step for a young child to learn is that he be fed a healthy diet. We started a breakfast program for the PreK and Kinder classes that ran five months, when a Guatemalan foundation took over. As our primary goal was always education, a member of our Board who was a retired teacher living nearby volunteered to observe classes. We continue to be committed to improving the education of the students with improved curricula, internet access, teacher training and supplies.
AdJ has expanded its role in supporting this local Mayan village. We have donated a laptop and printer to the local library and pay for internet access for students to use in their research. The children play in the walkways and on the basketball court. We are working with the people of Jaibalito to build a playground that will also be a town park and pilar, which are large washbasins for the women to wash their laundry.
Jaibalito is an isolated village though it resides right on the shore of Lake Atitlan. With no roads in, only boat access, the Kachequel people here have not had access to updated health and educational opportunities. Women carry bundles of cement blocks strapped to their head as they trudge up the steep path. Children are taken out of school to help their parents. Local vision is subsistence, day to day. A group of women took a beading class last year and hope to sell their wares. There are so many needs here and so few opportunities.