18 diciembre, 2018 -

Women from Totonicapán seize every educational opportunity they get

©UNESCO Guatemala / Mariana Samayoa
©UNESCO Guatemala / Mariana Samayoa

During November 2018, UNESCO Guatemala started its health and wellbeing program within the UNESCO-Malala-MINEDUC Centers in the department of Totonicapán. This educational program centers on key life skills for women, focusing on subjects such as Nutrition, Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), and the Prevention of Gender Based Violence (PGBV).

The Health and Wellbeing Program was designed in direct response to the needs of the women of the communities. The program in itself uses a participatory methodology that allows women to build on their own local knowledge, participate, exchange and dialogue with others to construct together new knowledge that reflects on their own experiences. The three main topics were developed in three sessions:

  • “Vida Sana, Tejidos Fuertes”: This module addressed the issue of food security and nutrition for integral development. Within this workshop, the participants learned about availability, access and consumption of food in their communities, as well as the family food pot, a contextualized variant of the nutritional pyramid.
  • “Hilando Nuestros Caminos”: This module focused on the awareness of the participants about the importance of health and well-being with gender equity, inclusion, respect, equality and responsibility, important subjects on CSE. The main topics included community values from the mayan cosmovision, respect for the body, qualities, abilities, dimensions of the human being, and each women’s life plans.
  • “Caminando hacia Mis Sueños”: It focuses on opening spaces for reflection and awareness on the importance of a life free of gender based violence. The contents addressed focus on: gender, stereotypes, prejudices, prevention of gender-based violence.

These workshops helped validate the design of the Health and Wellbeing Program to ensure it was relevant and contextualized. Many of the women expressed their desire to receive more workshops and to continue exploring these topics.

Some of the participants had to face different challenges to attend the workshops, these range

d from lack of available transportation to convincing their husbands to let them attend. Based on previous experiences, bringing their children was not another obstacle as the centers are designed to have spaces where the children can play safely while their mothers participate. This Educational Program, as well as other workshops and educational opportunities, will continue to be developed through 2019.

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