San Pedro

San Pedro's Community News

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Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The San Pedro Yepocapa community is located in a small municipality in the Chimaltenango region. Families live in a collection of small, rural hamlets. Located in the foothills of the mountains, the climate here is cool, wet, and tropical. Heavy rains in the winter cause flooding and landslides, and it's extremely dry and windy in the summer.

Families who live here are mostly indigenous Mayan Kaqchikel, with an average of five children living in small one- or two-room houses. Houses are mostly constructed of clay or sugar cane mixed with mud, and most still have dirt floors. Poverty here runs deep, and is getting worse. 74% of families in the community currently live in poverty, and 19% live in extreme poverty. Malnutrition is chronic, and in recent years increased from 45.6% of children in 2001 to 57.3% in 2008.

People here generally farm, growing corn and beans, or work manual labour jobs on large coffee plantations. Unemployment is common, and becomes even worse during the growing season, forcing many families to migrate seasonally to find work. Social issues like domestic violence and alcoholism are common. This is also a culture in which children do not have a voice. Their obedience is absolute, and discipline is often harsh.
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Establish community education centres where, from the time they are born to age six, children can get developmental stimulation and preschool training.
  • Train guide mothers and equip them to run education centres.
  • Create toy libraries and play areas to aid in the development of children's skills, especially reading comprehension and mathematical reasoning.
  • Provide children with leadership training and mentoring.
  • Teach parents good care practices, including early developmental stimulation, health, nutrition, and parenting with love.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Train guide mothers in preventive health care, such as how to manage respiratory and diarrheal illnesses, and when to seek treatment.
  • Provide water filters to families and train parents in how to use and maintain them.
  • Support guide mothers to pass on their knowledge to other parents, including hand washing, water treatment, proper handling and storage of food, and confining animals to prevent contamination.
  • Train guide mothers to promote immunization, micronutrient supplements, deworming, and disease management.
  • Train mothers in nutrition, and help monitor malnourished children until they recover.
  • Help families start backyard gardens and raise small animals to diversify their diet and improve income.
  • Establish and equip local boards to work to improve health, nutrition, and food security.
  • Train and monitor pregnant women and provide supplements and food, as well as promote pre- and post-natal care through health centres to ensure babies are born with a healthy weight.

Economic Development
To ensure parents in San Pedro can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Train families in production techniques, including crop diversification. Help families access micro loans.
  • Establish demonstration plots and provide agricultural supplies, so farmers can see new methods and the benefits of change, as well as access resources with which to apply their new knowledge.
  • Provide vocational workshops to help families develop new skills that will help them generate income.
  • Train families in entrepreneurship.
  • Work with families to establish new production initiatives.
Child Protection
  • 1 local level advocacy event where children and youth participated meaningfully in community decision-making
  • 99 parents attended training to learn how to discipline their children without physical violence, so more girls and boys are safer from abuse.
  • 100 parents better understand the harmful impact of physical discipline on children, so more boys and girls can be raised in safer and happier homes.
  • 10 women and men from community partner groups took part in training, learning how to work more effectively to improve the well-being of children.
  • 10 parents and caregivers attended training on the importance of literacy for children, increasing the support girls and boys have in learning to read.
  • 10 teachers completed training on teaching children literacy and numeracy skills, improving how they teach students to read, write and use numbers.
  • 935 children participated in reading comprehension activities
  • 3 community literacy volunteers who have undergone World Vision facilitated training
  • 30 students were enrolled in remedial and accelerated learning classes
  • 50 children aged 3-6 years are currently attending early child development centers
  • 1 community was motivated and equipped for advocacy work on child protection and safety issues, so more children can grow up in a safe community.
  • 50 community groups, caregivers and health personnel have been trained on hygienic food preparation and preservation methods
  • 2 communities now have risk prevention and mitigation plans
  • 2 organized advocacy groups at the community level
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • 306 students have hand-washing facilities and soap at their school, helping to keep them healthy and creating a cleaner learning environment.
  • 100 people participated in hygiene training, campaigns or committees, learning habits to stay healthy and clean, such as washing their hands.
  • 300 sex-specific toilet stalls are in use at schools and education centres, giving students better sanitation and privacy.
  • 2 water and sanitation committees received training, learning how to maintain the village water source and provide cleaner water for children.

*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019

Explore San Pedro

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in San Pedro

There are many obstacles to children getting a good education in San Pedro. There are few preschools, so children begin primary school without adequate preparation, and many have to repeat early grades. Each year, 5% of children drop out of school, and sadly they are mostly girls. The older a child is, the more likely he or she will abandon school or take long absences to work, especially during the coffee harvest. An estimated 30% of children work from ages as young as eight, harvesting, weeding, and cutting logs, or polishing shoes and collecting recycled materials in town.

Schools in the community lack sufficient infrastructure. Many have one-room buildings that need repairs and equipment. Classrooms are overcrowded and there aren't enough teachers. Teaching materials and educator training are scarce. At home, many parents, especially mothers, have little or no education, which makes it difficult for them to support their children. Additionally, chronic malnutrition means children often come to school on an empty stomach, leaving them unable to focus on their studies. For older children, there aren't enough high school spaces, and parents cannot afford to send children to school outside of the community.

Health Care
In this community, one in three children are moderately stunted, while another 10% are severely stunted. Children are also chronically malnourished. Poor sanitation and hygiene, a lack of clean water, and damp houses with mud floors leave them suffering from recurring respiratory illnesses and bouts of diarrhea. Many are born underweight because expectant mothers do not get proper care, or enough food during pregnancy. As more teens become pregnant, they are even less prepared to carry and give birth to healthy babies.

Traditional subsistence crops of corn and beans mean that children receive a high-carbohydrate diet, lacking in nutrients from fruit, vegetables, and protein. Families often have little means to buy other food. Parents need education in the steps they can take to help protect their children's health, like good hygiene, safe water, safe food handling, and age-appropriate feeding, in addition to what constitutes a healthy meal. Many mothers have little to no education, so they rely on traditional methods, and are reluctant to seek medical treatments, have their children vaccinated, or even give them oral rehydration solutions to treat diarrhea.

Economic Development
In this poor farming community, farmers face many obstacles. These include small farming plots, a reliance on traditional crops and methods, a lack of knowledge about new methods, and environmental issues like landslides and erosion. In addition, small coffee producers are trapped by the monopoly in marketing, so they continue to earn little. Those who work as unskilled labor on the large coffee plantation also make very little money, and there are few alternative ways to earn an income.

Farming families earn little in general, but they earn nothing during the growing season. Seasonal migration in search of work breaks up families, and disrupts children's education. It also introduces families to urban gangs and drugs, which many unfortunately bring back to their communities when they return. Low income leads many families to introduce children to work at an early age so they can help the family survive. Poverty has become a vicious cycle in the community, to which children are the most vulnerable.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

San Pedro,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.