The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation is joining forces with Casa Guatemala to plant 150 fruit trees for low-income children & their families around Rio Dulce this July. These children come as orphans or from families of the surrounding Mayan villages who live in cases of extreme poverty. Chronic malnutrition in Guatemala is among the highest in the world; help us provide long-term, sustainable nourishment not only for their growing bodies but also their minds & this environmentally fragile region.
Child malnutrition in Guatemala is a serious issue & rural areas like Rio Dulce are hit especially hard. Guatemala has the 3rd highest rate of stunting caused by chronic malnutrition in the world & over a 3rd of child deaths are caused by undernutrition. There is over-dependence on packaged, processed, nutrient-poor foods & a steep decline in traditional food growing practices. Rio Dulce is in ever-increasing danger from the effects of climate change, including severe erosion & depleted soils.
Fruit trees provide learning tools for children to gain food-growing skills needed in the outside world & a sustainable source of produce for a balanced diet. Extra harvest is sold in the store & restaurant to aid in self-sufficiency. The trees sent home with families add fresh, free nutrition to home-cooked meals, as well as lessen the economic burden on families in poverty by reducing grocery bills & creating opportunities to earn extra income through the sale of surplus harvests.
Bringing 150 trees to Rio Dulce provides a long-term, inexpensive & sustainable solution to multiple urgent needs. As the trees grow to maturity, the communities will be enriched by their young forests & children will have fresh fruit to balance their diets. Mature fruit trees prevent erosion along the fragile riparian areas, increase biodiversity, provide nutritious food & fight climate change. For generations the vulnerable children served by Casa Guatemala will benefit from these fruit trees.