WHOM WE SERVE
SaludosNiños! serves impoverished Guatemalan families in the rural Mayan community of Panyebar by providing children with early learning as well as health and nutrition programs. Most children are three and four years old although there are some younger and a few older who come for after school tutoring and receive a nutritious midday meal. Children are selected by the program director and come from the community’s most impoverished families. A third are from single mother households. Like its neighbors, Panyebar is a poor farming village where the average daily wages is less than $5.00. The people are Mayan indigenous and receive no government assistance. Although children are now taught Spanish in school, most families speak Quiche and much of the adult population is illiterate.
As part of the excellent curriculum developed by Infantiles, all SaludosNiños! children and their mothers are introduced to proper nutrition, good dental care and hygiene. Canada’s Heritage College sends nursing professors and students annually to perform physical checkups and monitor the children’s overall health and growth. Thanks to longtime supporters of the Guatemalan Daycare Project, shoes and warm clothing are regularly distributed not only to the SaludosNiños! children but to many other needy families throughout the community.