Food security is of paramount concern today, especially for the world's poor. Environmental changes and economic crisis have put particular strain on Indigenous women and families in rural Guatemala. The Indigenous Women's Organic Gardening Project works with communities of women in Chumanzana and Santa Clara to educate them about sustainable gardening practices and nutrition. This means that women are better able to cultivate the nutritious food they they, and their families, need.
Erosion, theft and other problems have plagued the food security of these communities. Because traditional farming methods have been challenged by social and environmental changes, the women of Chumanzana and Santa Clara must adapt and learn new practices to gain access to the vital food and nutrients that they and their families need to survive.
By training Indigenous women in using raised garden beds, rotating crops, fertilizing, nutrition and compost management, women are empowered to manage their family's food supply and provide healthy food for their families, even in times of scarcity. Because food is a major family expense, growing household crops helps to free up income for other opportunities, like education. Trainings have covered prenatal and infant nutrition and vitamin content of fruits and vegetables.
Working with women ensures that the next generation will have better access to healthy and nutritious food. Because women are sharing what they learn with their families and the larger community, the people of Chumanzana and Santa Clara will enjoy the benefits of improved food security and nutrition for years to come. Growing food at home also supports families to free up income for other uses and can even be used to generate additional family resources as produce is sold or traded
Kateri Tekakwitha/ Mission: Guatemala website
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