Dear LP Friends and Supporters,
We write to you all surrounded by tingling energy and wide eyes not only from the “Patojos” but also from our newly-organized team. Last year was really an “experimental year”, as Juan Pablo likes to call it, seeming as it was our first year as a educational reinforcement and community center for Jocotenango. It was a great success and the number of kids and families that we now support has grown exponentially.
First of all, we would like to mention how grateful we are to have the support of Builders Beyond Borders (www.buildersbeyondborders.org) that will be supporting us fully with the construction of the brand new roof (17-22 of February) and two-story annex (17-22 of March; we will be working during Holy Week) For this reason, there will be a pause in the kids’ arrival beginning on the 8th of February until the 3rd of March. Say goodbye to leaky, shaky roofs and improvised spaces.
In its second year running, we have decided to make some slight changes in the structure of the program in order to have a more effective and dependable schedule that targets, both directly and indirectly, the most crucial areas in the children’s development. One is the organisation of the program as a whole. This is necessary so that the kids can make the best out of their time at the program, ensuring no lost time. For this reason we have contracted Veronica Romero, a new director with many years experience in the educational field. She has helped to develop a more regular class schedule with more time in class with the teachers so that they can concentrate on each individual child’s needs. Juan Pablo is now able to concentrate on the kids and their families’ needs along with some of the new projects.
Another crucial element of “Los Patojos” is the meal we offer to the kids. As we have always said, a child that has not eaten is a child without energy; a child without energy is a child who will not succeed academically. The meal is now served earlier and is more of a full lunch with protein and vegetables than just a healthy snack as it was before. Juan Pablo has had a meeting with the parents of the children explaining the importance of this and to let them know that we are going to begin giving a full lunch to the kids. He also suggested they have a talk with their children so they learn how to communicate to us how hungry they are so food is not wasted.
The first monthly meeting with the parents was successful. We will be having one every month in order to ensure the parents’ involvement and keeping them informed about their children’s activities as well as projects they might like to be involved with.
The English class offered to adults and high-school students begins today and we hope to have a more structured schedule according to topics they would like to learn and combining them with grammar rules that can apply to the topic. We believe that if they come knowing they will learn something they can apply to their everyday lives, we will be able to counts on a regular attendance and see a higher success rate.
The Youth Project has been laid out and thank you to the support from our lovely Danish former volunteers and Regina Fuchs. The project will offer digital and technological training to the youth of the community along with the tools to carry out investigations on problems and current events. With these two elements combined, the young adults will be able to produce their own documentaries and photo exhibitions about problems and solutions to so many problems hindering the expression and development of the community.
This year we have also begun a sponsorship program for the children where we are currently sponsoring a number of promising children through elementary and secondary school whose families cannot support them personally.
We would like to send a special thanks to Builders Beyond Borders, our Danish friends, Regina Fuchs, Kathrin Dommel and friends in Germany, all our brave and lovely volunteers, Marguerite Keating for donating heaps of much needed material and educational games that the kids are thoroughly enjoying, as well as all of the volunteers, friends, and long-time supporters of Los Patojos. ,
Hugs to you all.
COURT AND STEPH, THANK YOU FOR BEING OUR ANGELS, WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOUR GIRLS, WE ARE BLESSED TO HAVE YOU IN OUR BIG LP FAMILY!
Thank you Sasha for doing this, you are great (SASHA WROTE THE NEWSLETTER, SHE IS GOOD)thank you, thank you, thank you Canche! estás haciendo la diferencia mano!
EQUIPO LOS PATOJOS “Sueños e ideas en acción”