Pre-School: Our successful preschool program focuses on school-preparedness, teaching Spanish as a second language (Spanish is often the second language of indigenous children), pre-literacy, socializing, etc. This program has been in operation for four years at Project Somos.
Primary School (grades K - 6): Our on-site primary school supports children who have fallen through the cracks and have not been attending school because of extreme familial circumstances. We tailor the program so that children - regardless of their age and their ability - gain a strong sense of accomplishment and learning.
Parenting classes and employment for mamas: We also offer parenting classes for the women whose children are attending Somos. As indigenous women, the mamas have often endured a life of hardship, indifference and discrimination. Their parenting often reflects this and we support them to parent in a non-violent manner. For those seeking employment, we offer opportunities to train and work in the following areas: handicrafts, and hospitality.
Project Somos works with impoverished families in the Tecpán area of Guatemala, addressing two major issues; education and nutrition. Somos uses an innovative approach to educating children, focusing on food as the curriculum. In an effort to educate, improve health and prevent common diseases in adults, Somos teaches the children with a hands-on approach from farm to kitchen to belly. Adhering to the Guatemalan Ministry of Education curriculum, it also incorporates learning with food, in as many subjects as possible; science (soil studies, light cycles, composting, human body, health & nutrition, sustainability, organic farming, eco-systems, water studies), math (weighing, measuring, multiplying, fractions, etc.) and language (reading, english, translating, following instructions, etc.) This type of programming also provides employable take-away skills for all of the students (gardening, cooking, serving, english, etc.)
Our holistic approach focuses on physical health and well-being, intellectual education, spiritual healing and happiness. We do everything we can for the children to maintain their own culture, traditions, clothing and language.
A Guatemalan therapist is on staff to help the children deal with trauma and support them in their move towards independent living.