On my latest visit to one of the little, indigenous schools I support in the Maya Hinterland I spoke to the kids and asked them directly what they need or want. I kinda expected to hear that they would want computers, iPhones or tablets and such but the answer of the kids came in one voice and they told me that they really would like school uniforms.
I did not expect that request at all and it not only touched me but I also realized that I never noticed until then that all the kids were actually in street clothes every time I visit.
So I spoke to the teacher afterward who also doubles as director, janitor, and cook who makes lunch for the kids.
He told me that there is just no budget for uniforms and that the families simply can't afford to have them made.
He also told me how much he appreciates the help from me and my guests and the donations of school supplies I bring regularly but he also pointed out that when we buy school supplies at big stores in the US or Cancun we enrich big corporations and put little, local stores in the region out of business.
This too made complete sense, and in the spirit of knowing better is doing better, school uniforms and supplies from local stores it is in the future.