Primeros Pasos Nutrition Program
I started volunteering with the Primeros Pasos and the Nutritional Recuperation Program in October. The Nutritional Recuperation Program works with chronically malnourished children and their families in the Palajunoj Valley through medical treatment and health education. At the beginning of working with the nutrition program, my artistic and crafting skills were put to the test when Cindy, the nutritionist, asked me to make fruit and vegetable crowns for the kids in the program. Later that week, the clinic hosted a celebration for the kids and mothers of the program for el Día del Niño (Children’s Day). The kids showed their knowledge of what fruits and vegetables they knew by guessing what each crown was and then looked incredibly cute playing outside the clinic wearing them. Later, my artistic skills were once again put to the test when I made visuals for an activity for one of the educational seminars that the mothers in the program attend. What I had not realized before working with the nutrition program was the importance of incorporating visual materials within an educational curriculum, especially when working with communities such as those in the Palajunoj Valley. Guatemala has the lowest literacy rate in Central America, with large disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous communities and between men and women. Many of the moms in the Nutritional Recuperation Program cannot read, so incorporating visual materials is both important and necessary. Creating an educational program and curriculum without relying on written word was a challenge I hadn’t thought about before working with the Nutrition Program.