El Manguaré was founded in 2009 with the mission to better the quality of life of children in the most vulnerable neighbourhoods of the city of Iquitos. Iquitos is the capital city of the region of Loreto (Amazon jungle region), which is the poorest performing region in Peru in reading comprehension and mathematical reasoning. There is no pre-school offered in the neighbourhood, and teachers are forbidden by law to hold students back in the first grade of primary school. Therefore, many students enter first grade and continue on to second grade without the necessary skills to succeed. The problem is clearly represented in the results of the annual state exam given to students in the second grade of primary school: only 1% of students in Iquitos achieve a passing grade in math and only 3% in reading comprehension. Therefore, in coordination with neighbourhood parents and teachers, El Manguaré created an early childhood stimulation program and a first-grade preparation program to assure that students enter primary school the academic skills to succeed. They implement the program both in their own facility and in the primary, and sometimes secondary schools in Iquitos. They train teachers and reinforce the State education program to students. Workshops are held with the students during school hours and with teachers in the afternoons.
Alma has been supporting El Manguare since 2014. We pay for two teachers and provide educational materials. Our support allows for 25 students to attend first-grade preparation classes, 140 students to attend educational reinforcement workshops, and 50 additional teachers to attend training workshops.