Ja and I have started planning a new sexual and reproductive health education program for the students in Basico (middle school) and also adolescents who do not attend school. In our many meetings with various community groups and leaders last year sex-ed was brought up as a major need in Chaquijyá.
I am really excited about this program, as it finally allows me to use some of my public health and program planning background. This program gives us a great opportunity to work more closely with the community members in planning and executing our programs. As this health initiatives develop, I hope the community will feel like they have ownership of the program, that it is something they have put time and work into, and they can see the effect it has on their community.
We are also very excited about our intern, Ingrid, with us who will be helping us for the month of January in planning our health programs. She was born here in Guatemala and lived in Solola until she was twelve, when her parents moved their family to Washington State. She is a Junior at Whitworth University and will be doing this internship as part of her school requirements. She is going to be a tremendous help to us in this planning phase as she is native to the area, speaks Spanish and Kaqchikel, and is familiar with the culture.