Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala

by Aldea Maya assistance For Mayan Families Society
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Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
how to make complete protein
how to make complete protein

It has been an amazing pleasure to work with Andrea Guzman from Proyecto CAN. Andrea is a nutritionist who has helped develop wonderful nutrition workshops, recipe books and videos. Andrea came to Chuk Muk and did excellent workshops on basic nutrition with 6 different groups.

The main focus of these workshops was creating easy, nutritious and economical foods for babies and young children. Malnutrition is a huge problem in this area and part of the time was spent on items not to buy with their limited resources like cabonated sodas, highly processed snacks and giving coffee to young children. Andrea also taught 2 of our students how to run future workshops. Two of our students, Rosa and Miriam, translated the information into Tzu’tujil for the moms that do not understand Spanish. Everyone had a lot of fun cooking low cost, healthy food at our learning centre. All attendees returned home with a bright informative cook book and chaya plants. Many of the women cannot read so the book used pictures which the moms easily followed during the cooking portion of the workshop.

Using local produce to cook baby food
Using local produce to cook baby food
A picture recipe book makes cooking easy
A picture recipe book makes cooking easy
The nutritious food was a hit with young children
The nutritious food was a hit with young children
Heading home with chaya plants and cook book
Heading home with chaya plants and cook book
A fun community meal when all the cooking is done
A fun community meal when all the cooking is done
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Soil testing to increase garden yields
Soil testing to increase garden yields

Our organic garden and nutrition projects have greatly benefited from being linked to our education program.

Our garden manager, Francisco, has just completed his 4th year of university studying Agroforestry Engineering. He has one year left and is fully sponsored by our education program. This is a very expensive course that normally would not be possible for someone with background. He has taken his new knowledge and implemented programs in the Chuk Muk organic garden like soil testing and identification of different microorganisms. His soil management technics and crop rotation has greatly increased yeild in the garden while reducing diseases in the plants. His contacts through his field trips and projects has led to wonderful partnerships with government and non government organizations.

Our students volunteer in the garden and are often involved in educational workshops where Francisco shares his extensive knowledge. This has enabled Aldea Maya to have a thriving teaching garden that is supplying healthy, organic food to families that are struggling during COVID.

Identifying microorganisms in the soil
Identifying microorganisms in the soil
A bountiful organic harvest
A bountiful organic harvest
Aerial view of part of organic school garden
Aerial view of part of organic school garden
Helping to make bokashi
Helping to make bokashi
Spreading knowledge
Spreading knowledge
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Student volunteers
Student volunteers

It has been challenging running an organic garden during  a pandemic. We are very fortunate that our garden manager, Francisco, lives in the village and is not restricted by lockdown restrictions. We have been able to keep the garden functioning due to all our student volunteers who enjoy receiving produce for their labour.

Before the latest lockdown the Ministry Of Agriculture (MAGA) came to view our garden and to give advice on increasing yield and fighting diseases organically. We were able to show them how we make organic bochashi using items collected in the village.

The garden is located in the elementary school yard and the principal has been taking the excess produce to sell to purchase supplies for the elementary school. When everything returns to normal we will start our instructional courses again.

Bountiful harvest sold to purchase  supplies
Bountiful harvest sold to purchase supplies
MAGA teaching courses
MAGA teaching courses
Processing chaya leaves to add nutrients to soil
Processing chaya leaves to add nutrients to soil
Collecting leaves for organic bochashi
Collecting leaves for organic bochashi
The main organic garden
The main organic garden
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Harvesting yummy cherry tomatoes in the greenhouse
Harvesting yummy cherry tomatoes in the greenhouse

Over the last year, we have been developing programs to teach elementary school children all about organic gardening. These programs are highly interactive and are designed to get children excited about permaculture and eating healthy.

Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions we have been unable to teach any of the courses. We have been able to continue running the school garden, nursery and greenhouse. The nursery is producing plants like chaya , lime, lemon and papaya trees that will one day produce fruit in a local families yard.

The food that has been produced in the greenhouse and main garden is being distributed to local families. However a comprehensive, integrated program has not been possible at this time.

Crisp, organic radishes are always a favourite
Crisp, organic radishes are always a favourite
Organic vegetables will help feed this family of 7
Organic vegetables will help feed this family of 7
Citrus trees from the nursery
Citrus trees from the nursery
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Nutritious and delicious
Nutritious and delicious

During the time of COVID-19 restrictions, Mayan households in the Guatemalan highlands have been struggling more than normal as they try to feed their families. When incomes become extremely restricted, families will use the small amount of money they have to purchase corn for tortillas. They will often only add salt. This meal is lacking in the vitamins, minerals and complete protien ones body needs to stay healthy and to successfully fight the pandemic.

We have been fortunate to have received donations that have allowed us to suppliment the diet with rice, beans, oil, eggs as well as fruits and vegetables. Many of these fruits and vegetables have come from our organic garden. The university students are virtually learning at present and have been volunteering in our garden and greenhouse. These students love helping to support hunger relief and food security. As travel between villages has been restricted we have partnered to help other organizations to deliver food to families in Chuk Muk, Guatemala.

A bounty of cucumbers to feed many families
A bounty of cucumbers to feed many families
Thanking a donor for supporting feeding program
Thanking a donor for supporting feeding program
The greenhouse helps increase our food production
The greenhouse helps increase our food production
University student spending time volunteering
University student spending time volunteering
Helping another organization to deliver food
Helping another organization to deliver food
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Organization Information

Aldea Maya assistance For Mayan Families Society

Location: Qualicum, BC - Canada
Website:
Project Leader:
Louise Sosa
Qualicum, BC Canada
$8,270 raised of $12,000 goal
 
95 donations
$3,730 to go
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