School children benefit enormously from the careful selection and preparation of nutritious foods. Full stomachs and healthy bodies allow them to build relationships with their peers; develop socially; and concentrate and succeed in the classroom.
That’s why we've been working since 2013 to start an organic school garden at the Pacoc Elementary School, located just on the outskirts of the San Lucas Toliman municipality.
As in many other rural, coffee-growing communities, children in Pacoc suffer from reduced growth rates (stunting) and parents often acknowledge a reliance on staple grains like corn and rice, which fill stomachs but lack nutritional value. As such, the community was an ideal candidate for our school-based programming, which seeks to provide children with the comprehensive support they need to reach and graduate the sixth grade.
Since the beginning of the year in Pacoc, excitement for the garden has been palpable. Students swarm to the garden between classes to water and care for the crops and teachers and parents have assumed an active role in garden maintenance through weekend cleanings, coordination committees, and trainings with our staff. And, just as in our other partner schools, all harvests are used to prepare healthy snacks and lunches for students at the school.
We’re excited to see the momentum build over the rest of the year, and we’ll be in touch soon with more updates!