Meet Ana, one of our new students at Acorn Childcare Center this year! Ana is 2 years old and lives with her 5 year old brother and both parents, Vanesa and Elmer, a couple that is a bit different than other families at the Acorn Childcare Center. They are a family that has more education and supposedly more job possibilities than many other families at the Center, but they fell on hard times during the pandemic and as a result sought our support. This is a clear example of how the pandemic has drastically affected the economy and livelihoods of so many families in Guatemala, hurting both the poor and middle class alike.
Vanesa and Elmer were both students slowly working their way through university but 5 years ago, when their son was born, they had to dedicate their time to finding work. Elmer works as an independent credit card salesman for the bank but has had months without sales or income as a result of the pandemic. In addition, due to the pandemic, Vanessa lost her job as an office assistant, and they suddenly found themselves in a very difficult situation trying to provide for their two children.
Vanesa and Elmer tell us that the food stipend they receive from our Center has been incredibly helpful for their family, allowing them to purchase nutritious food for their children. Vanesa and Elmer also love the online classes that Ana receives each day. The videos and lessons have been great guides for them as parents in how to engage with their children and help Ana develop many important skills before she enters school. Vanesa said, “We knew it was important to stimulate our daughter’s development but as we are not teachers, we had no idea how to do this. But with the methodology of the Acorn Center, we are able to support our daughter’s development and use these classes as a guide. We have noticed in this short time that Ana has significantly improved her vocabulary, her confidence, and she loves singing and dancing.”