Unidos Caminando

The needs in Unidos Caminando

Many children in Unidos Caminando are not getting a good education, and there are many reasons
for this. For example, there aren't enough spaces in schools, some families don't have the resources to send their children to school, and children often encounter a language barrier because they speak Tzotzil at home but Spanish in schools. In addition, many parents don't understand how to nurture and support their children's physical, cognitive, and social skills, which they need to succeed in school.

However, there are many committed parents here. In the more remote areas of the community parents have come together to build makeshift classrooms. These rudimentary structures may not have windows, walls, or roofing, though, and they lack basic equipment, like blackboards and furniture. Teachers are often students who have just finished high school themselves, and the turnover and absentee rate is high. Under these conditions, children, as well as parents, lose interest in education.

Health Care
Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation and the poor conditions in homes are the main causes of illness in children. Drinking contaminated water and living in homes with mud floors and clay walls leads to recurring diarrheal and respiratory illnesses. These are even more threatening when a child doesn't have good nutrition. In this community, where income is low, families eat a mostly carbohydrate diet of corn and beans. Children do not have enough of the nutrients that come from fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Getting to a health centre for treatment is also difficult, especially for people living in remote parts of the community.
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Unidos Caminando's Community News

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 Unidos Caminando community, which in Spanish means “walking together," is in the state of Chiapas, on Mexico's southern border with Guatemala. The community is located in a municipal area where residents lack hope for the future.

The area has a large concentration of indigenous Tzotzil families, as well as families of mixed racial descent. Indigenous families generally tend to live in small, distinctive and remote settlements, and retain many of their customs. 85% of the people live in poverty. Most earn a modest living from subsistence agriculture or as labourers on large plantations growing coffee, allspice, and bananas. Homes are often in poor condition; about half of them still have dirt floors and are made out of mud or clay. Many people still lack a safe supply of drinking water and electricity.

Family break-ups are common as people, mostly men, move out of the area in search of work elsewhere. More and more homes are headed by single women. In recent years though, more women are migrating seasonally to work in the maquillas (free trade factories), or as domestic help in larger cities. This is disruptive " and sometimes devastating " for children.
  • 94.3% of families were using improved sanitation facilities in 2016 significantly increasing from 91.0% in 2015, decreasing the risk of diseases
  • 66.3% of caregivers that understood and did  appropriate handwashing in 2016 significantly increasing from 61.2% in 2015, decreasing risks of contamination and helping keep the family healthy
  • 5.9% of children were underweight according to their age, as a result of malnutrition in 2016 decreasing from 6.6% in 2012.
  • 293 individuals learned about child rights and protection issues to help ensure children's safety and participation
  • 267 young people are leading or attending child parliaments to advocate for their rights and influence local decisions
  • 8 child parliaments are empowering young people to advocate for their rights and participate in community decisions
  • 5 survivors of violence received support to help them cope with the trauma and recover
  • 5 people learned how to work with local authorities and influence decisions to improve services and child well-being
  • 1 community group is engaging with local authorities to advance their rights and create positive changes for children
  • 2 children with disabilities were supported with medical care, accessibility upgrades and equipment         44 preschool children are developing vital language and motor skills, setting a solid foundation for their education
  • 43 children and youth are improving their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities like clubs and camps
  • 1 club is in place for children and youth to improve their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities
  • 46 parents and caregivers learned about the importance of education and how to support their child’s learning
  • 45 teachers and volunteers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children               
  • 184 individuals including children are better equipped to protect themselves from disasters and respond to emergencies
  • 23 community groups are teaching children and families to prevent disasters and protect themselves in times of crisis
  • 50 health workers and volunteers were trained to provide quality health services, especially for women and children                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Train parents in good childcare, and in how to help their children with early learning skills.
  • Raise awareness about the importance of education to the future of children.
  • Organize programs and train tutors to provide children with academic support in reading, writing, and math.
  • Establish children and youth groups where children and teens can participate in arts and sports, learn about their rights, and be motivated to continue learning and contribute to development in their community.
  • Help youth to get vocational and life skills training, including knowledge about sexual and reproductive health.
  • Improve water and sanitation facilities in schools.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Train community health promoters in illness prevention and healthcare practices, including personal hygiene and household sanitation.
  • Support health promoters to pass on their knowledge to families, and work with them to monitor the health of children and reinforce good practices in the home.
  • Teach mothers about nutrition and how to prepare healthy meals using local foods.
  • Identify malnourished children and provide support and monitoring until they regain their health.
  • Provide water storage units to families, along with training in water purification and protection.
  • Improve the walls and floors of houses.
  • Support parents to start household gardens and raise small animals to improve children's diets.
Mexico Earthquake:Updates and facts you need to know

Mexico experienced a strong earthquake on September 7 at 11:49 p.m. The Richter scale recorded it as 8.5, making this the largest quake to affect the country since 1985.

With your sponsored child in Mexico, we want to keep you updated on the impact of the earthquake and how World Vision is responding. As of now:

  • World Vision Mexico has 7,300 children located in the impact region. Field offices continue to monitor the communities where we work
  • A Tsunami Alert is in effect on the Pacific coasts of Mexico
  • The death toll stands at 15
  • Power blackouts have affected parts of the city. Schools have been closed
  • All staff and their families have been accounted for and are safe

World Vision will continue to monitor earthquake damage as well as the Tsunami Alert. Staff on the ground in Mexico are prepositioning emergency supplies for communities.

For the most up to date information, visit www.worldvision.ca, or call us at 1-888-524-1112.

Explore Unidos Caminando

current conditions

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

Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Unidos Caminando,  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.