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  • Elena and Zaqueo's Story

    Zaqueo and Elena are grateful that their school's hand washing station will be repaired soon, as only two taps are working properly. They also comment on the insufficient hand washing possibilities for the pre-primary children (ages 4-6) – they can not reach the taps because they are too high for them and therefore rarely wash their hands after using the toilets or before eating. Furthermore, they also drew our attention to the leaking flush toilets for the pre-primary students causing the students clothing and feet to get soaked. (Photo courtesy of Blue Planet Run.)

    Elena and Zaqueo thank Team Blue and the children in the US for their help.

    Elena Brito Kujutch is 13 years old and a 6th grade student at the “Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta Kanaquil” in the village of Kanaquil. She lives together with her grandmother and her aunt in Kanaquil, her parents and her 5 brothers and sisters (3 younger and 2 older) live in the village of Tzalbal, about 10km away in direction of the municipal capital Nebaj. After completing 3rd grade in Tzalbal she moved to lived with her grandmother in Kanaquil. They share a one-room house made of wood, with an earth floor and a separate kitchen. The kitchen is equipped with an improved stove and the house counts with its own water tap and latrine.

    Elena enjoys studying very much and her favorite subject is Mathematics. After completing the 6th grade she would like to continue studying in secondary school to become a teacher later on.

    Elena’s typical school day starts at 6am, when she gets up to help with preparing breakfast. School starts at 7:30am and during the 10am till 10:30am recess she takes care of the mixtamal (cooked maize ready to get ground) and takes it to the mill. She says she can do that because she lives very close to the school. School ends at 12:30 and she heads home to have lunch and to do her homework. Some days she meets with her friends to play.

    Elena’s classmate Zaqueo Emeterio Raymundo Lunes is also 13 years old. He has two older brothers and two older sisters. His grandparents are already dead. He and his family live in a traditional adobe house with a cement floor. They share one room and have a separate kitchen. The kitchen has no stove, cooking takes place over an open fire. The house is connected to the local water system and has its own washing station (pila) and counts with a latrine.

    Zaqueo also likes studying a lot and would like to continue after having finished primary school. His favorite subject is also Mathematics and he would like to become a bank accountant.

    His school day normally starts at 6:30am, he has breakfast and walks to school. After school and lunch he and his brothers usually help his father in the corn field (milpa). Whenever he has some spare time, he plays football with his friends.