WHAT WE DO
SaludosNiños! provides a daylong---8:30 am to 3:30 pm--early learning experience to approximately 55 children every weekday, eleven months of the year. Each child receives a nutritious breakfast and midday main meal plus two healthy snacks. Cooking is done by volunteer mothers under Maria’s direction . Guatemala has one of the world’s highest rates of child malnutrition. At SaludosNinos!, mothers are learning how to prepare healthy and affordable meals for their families.
The results of good nutrition are almost immediate. The children are healthy, energetic and ready to learn.The curriculum , originally established by Infantilies SOS, has been enhanced over the years by Sheila, an experienced preschool specialist. Visitors, especially teachers, are not only impressed with the educational quality. They also marvel at how attentive , kind and well behaved the children are. “What’s the secret?” one asked recently. Teacher Juana’s answer was simple: “Amor y Respecto: Love and Respect”, she said, “we teach the children to love and respect each other and everyone and everything else.”
Activities at SaludosNinos! do not end after dark. Thanks to volunteers who installed a solar system in a classroom, Paneybar women now have a lighted space where they gather in the evenings. Here, they make jewelry from recycled magazines, berries and coffee beans. Recently they added Christmas ornaments. The new enterprise is empowering. As one woman described it, “Our lives are changed. We now have a peaceful place of own. We meet there, talk over the day and share stories while we create pretty things our friends sell for us in the United States and Canada."