Donation Impact Summary - The Rustic House 2016

Posted on December 14 2016

Donation Impact Summary from Rising Minds -

The Rustic House


Donation amount - $1000


How it was spent:

Health & Nutrition Program: $400

Agriculture Program: $530

El Centro Para Los Adultos Mayores:$70


Impact: In-School Health Trainings


Need for program:


Guatemala has the highest malnutrition rate in the western hemisphere and fourth highest in the world. Additionally, the country has the highest rate of chronically malnourished children under 5 in Latin America (49%), and the highest infant mortality rate in Central America. Vitamin deficiencies cause a plethora of health issues, especially among young children and pregnant women. Rising Minds is working to alleviate this epidemic by hosting holistic health campaigns that cultivate awareness in communities where the majority of children suffer from chronic malnutrition. These campaigns equip families not only to educate and motivate, but also with the tools to actively improve their health and prevent the transmission of disease.

In 2005, the Department of Solola and Vivemos Mejor, who administers the Comprehensive Health Care-SIAS-in rural areas, found that the most common illnesses in San Juan were:

Throat infections (28% of all cases of registered diseases). Followed by the common cold; ringworm, intestinal parasitism, pneumonia, amoebas, acute diarrheal disease, Sarcoidosis, conjunctivitis, acute otitis media.



With this said, customizing trainings to address crucial health and nutritional concerns facing rural, indigenous communities around Lake Atitlan is of utmost importance. Our training curriculum is based on in-depth community profiles designed to specifically identify community deficits and needs.




Description of program:


Trainings are executed by trained Community Health Educators from the Lake Atitlán area, ensuring cultural understanding by eliminating any potential language barriers. Training themes are identified based on an in-depth community profile compiled by collected data from local clinics, schools and a diverse range of families that identify the deficits and needs specific to that community. Core focus areas include (1) Disease prevention (2) Healthy Eating & Nutrition (3) Pre/postnatal care and child development. Upwards of 20 themes are covered within these core focus areas.


How much of your donation was used in this program: $400


***How your donation was spent:


$400 funded 210 staff hours at a rate of $1.90 per hour to (1) conduct trainings with school teachers and professionals responsible for the care of children in Emergency Response, CPR & First Aid (2) Develop comprehensive trainings relating to disease prevention, nutrition, infectious diseases and emergency situations (3)conduct health trainings with 524 students throughout 4 rural communities in San Juan La Laguna.


The core trainings funded by ‘The Rustic House’ donation focused on Emergency Response, First Aid & CPR:



Emergency Response and First Aid Training



The closest major hospital to San Juan La Laguna is in Sololá which is 52 kilometers (32.2 miles) away. This is the only hospital in the department that is equipped for surgery and has an intensive care ward. Additionally, there is relatively little to no first response training and the Centro de Salud (public health clinic) is the only health facility with ambulance services.



Our Emergency Response and First Aid Training can help equip health professionals and citizens of San Juan La Laguna with the skills they need to provide basic emergency care.


Topics covered:


What to do in an emergency situation: PAS (Protect, Avisar, Socorrer)

Checking for vital signs (breathing, pulse, consciousness)


Profuse bleeding

Head trauma/spinal injuries


Allergic reactions


Number of students trained: 524


Number of teachers trained: 18


Number of students they are responsible for: 780  --- 43 kids per 1 teacher


Topics covered:



The contents of a first aid kit and how to administer all medications within it/use first aid materials

What to do in an emergency situation: PAS (Protect, Avisar, Socorrer)

Checking for vital signs (breathing, pulse, consciousness)


Profuse bleeding

Head trauma/spinal injuries


Allergic reactions



First Aid Kits were also supplied to 4 schools serving upwards of 780 students which included:


Band-Aids  in a variety of different sizes and shapes

small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings

at least two sterile eye dressings

triangular bandages

crêpe rolled bandages

safety pins

disposable sterile gloves



alcohol-free cleansing wipes

sticky tape

thermometer (preferably digital)

skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or calendula

cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings

antiseptic cream

painkillers for children

cough medicine

antihistamine tablets

distilled water for cleaning wounds

eye wash and eye bath

Flashlight with extra batteries



Impact: Agriculture Program

Need for program:

Half of Guatemalan children less than five years of age are chronically malnourished, a rate that is the highest in the Americas (and higher than many African countries). In the Department of Sololá, 6% of homes were categorized as suffering severe chronic malnutrition, with a total of 72% (or 55,539 persons) labeled as chronically malnourished. (INE, 2011).  Furthermore, 2 in 5 children under-five and 1 in 5 pregnant women suffer from anemia (iron deficiency).  This leads to increased risk of maternal mortality, as well as increased risk of impaired cognitive development and decreased performance in school for children. Vitamin A deficiencies are also a major issue, with 1 in 5 preschool aged children being deficient in vitamin A. For children, lack of vitamin A causes severe visual impairment and blindness, and significantly increases the risk of severe illness, and even death, from such common childhood infections as diarrhoeal disease and measles. It is estimated that 1,500 deaths in Guatemala result from vitamin A deficiency every year.


Our agriculture programming allows us help combat these nutritional deficiencies. In our school and community gardens we produce seeds with high nutritional value with the intention of tackling the most prevalent nutritional deficiencies found in the rural communities in which we are based. Seeds are distributed amongst families who participate in our health and nutrition & garden training series. In 2014, the Rising Minds Seed Bank has harvested over 21,000 organic, heirloom seeds. Additionally, through our garden training series we provide hands on, interactive trainings that are delivered to local families in rural Guatemalan communities via our community health educators (all of whom are residents of the communities in which their trainings are delivered) and experienced international volunteers.



How much of your donation was used in this program: $530


How your donation was spent:

$240: 126 hours of additional hours for our gardener Santos for the purpose of seed harvesting.



$90:seed purchase


$200: Rent for our new 4 ACRE garden for an entire year!


Your donation made it possible to pay our part-time gardener, Santos, to work an additional 12 hours per week for just over 10 weeks in order to harvest and store:


Upwards of 4000 seeds which were cultivated to tackle the specific nutritional deficiencies that affect the population in the rural mountain communities in which we build in-school gardens (an educational tool used to help tackle the chronic malnutrition which is prevalent in these communities).


We estimate that these seeds will be sufficient to kick start 4 in-school gardens, serving upwards of 800 students, in communities where chronic malnutrition rates surpass 72%



Seed Purchase:

The seeds purchased with your donation were all heirloom, organic and matched specific vitamin deficiencies highlighted as a current threat to health in the communities of Panyebar, Pasaquim and Palestina.  The exponential growth of this initial purchase will include thousands of harvested seeds which will be utilized in school and family gardens throughout Solola.

Organic Seeds


Impact: El Centro Para Los Adultos Mayores


How much of your donation was used: $70


How was your donation used: Transportation for the elderly members of the center; 5 return trips for 18 elderly members collaborating with Rising Minds in the Educational Garden.


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