At the NPH house, we have five workshops for our básico students. Each student in básico (or middle) school selects a workshop in which to study for their 3 years of básico. They spend half of their day in regular school classes and half of their day in the workshops. The philosophy behind the workshops is that when kids finish school and leave NPH, we obviously want them to continue their education. However, NPH is also realistic. University in Guatemala is expensive, hard, and very uncommon for the average citizen. So, the NPH house wants each child to be proficient in a trade that is practical and in-demand in this country -- just to keep their post-NPH options open.
At the same time, the workshops keep NPH running smoothly and incredibly self-sufficient. The panadería students make all bread, snacks, and cakes for special house occasions. The carpentería makes all wooden bunkbeds, tables, and other furniture. Herrería makes metal bunkbeds and the tables and benches used in the comedor. Cosería students sew all school uniforms and pajamas for the younger kids. And the belleza workshop keeps everyone's haircuts in-house and completely free.
The whole set-up is really cool, and the kids' skills are seriously impressive. I have no idea how to make pizza from scratch, but Yesika in panadería can rattle off the exact ingredients to me in a split second. You wouldn't want me anywhere near your hair with a pair of scissors, but apparently one of the girls in belleza is absolutely the best stylist NPH has ever seen. :)
So welcome to the talleres!