We spent 5 very busy weeks in Guatemala, meeting with our teachers and visiting all the schools. We outfitted 3 of the new preschools with chairs, tables, rugs, white boards, educational materials, etc. We now have seven preschools, three after-school tutorial programs, and one weaving project.
All of our teachers attended a week-long training. They learned new teaching techniques and developed a genuine camaraderie among themselves. It really shows in how confident they are with the curriculum, their creativity in developing activities, and their patience and affection with the children.
Some of our highlights at the preschools were:
- Bringing a piece of wood with hooks on it for the children to hang up their sweaters and backpacks.
- Finding a local carpenter to make some simple wooden blocks.
- Seeing a teacher speaking Kaqchikel to the children because they didn’t speak Spanish; and how a couple of weeks later, she was able to incorporate the numbers and the weather in Spanish.
- Bringing a box of materials and books to one teacher; she wanted to keep the box. Another day, we saw that it had become a shelf.
- Delivering the beautiful animal puppets one of our teachers had made for the classrooms.