Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala

by Wuqu' Kawoq
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Fight Rising Malnutrition in Rural Guatemala
Hiding sprinkles!
Hiding sprinkles!

Happy New Year!

We’re off to a strong start in the fight against malnutrition in rural Guatemala in 2023! 

We are especially pleased to share that we have completed our first community nutrition workshops since the arrival of Covid. Classes in these four-month workshops allow caregivers to support one another and to brainstorm ways to feed their children healthier, more diverse diets.

When the arrival of Covid precluded community gatherings, we used the time to revise and improve the curriculum. The newly designed classes focus on a different theme each of the four months: nutrition during pregnancy, breastfeeding, supplementary feeding (adding other foods and nutrients to babies’ diets), and preventing malnutrition.

In each class, caregivers contribute ideas, share their experiences, and learn new strategies to improve their family's nutrition. In the photo above, participants mash up vegetables so they can sprinkle in micronutrient supplements – a winning strategy to get kids to eat the “sprinkles” that they normally dislike.

The first series of post-Covid classes began in October and wrapped up this month. It is a joy to be able to bring together mothers to build stronger futures for their children! 

Thanks to each of you for making this important work possible!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
thank you!
thank you!

Thanks to donors like you, every year, hundreds of children in rural Guatemala are getting a chance at a more promising future. Guatemala has the highest rate of malnutrition in Latin America and the sixth highest rate in the world.

With your help, we are working with families to nurture their children’s growth and development. We are constantly looking at new ways to create practical, sustainable solutions, from community cooking classes using locally available foods, to phone-based apps to help caregivers track children's developmental milestones such as crawling, sitting, and talking.

Your support is literally lifesaving. Malnutrition not only poses immediate risks but also can affect a child’s brain development, future opportunities, and long-term health.

We hope you will take a moment to watch this brief thank you video from our staff and Board!

 

 

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
nutrition visit in rural Guatemala
nutrition visit in rural Guatemala

We hope that you will include Wuqu' Kawoq in your Giving Tuesday plans! 

Why us? 

We are making progress every day toward greater health equity by delivering high-quality care in our patients' Mayan languages, homes, and communities. 

Why does this matter? 

In recent years, Covid-19, climate change, rising costs, and migration have revealed our interconnections as a global community and demonstrated the importance of ensuring that everyone has the best possible chance for health and well-being. We are dedicated to transforming health care in Guatemala to make this vision a reality. To get a sense of our approach, consider this reflection from Patrick Liu, a medical resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Boston Children’s Hospital/Boston Medical Center who recently spent time in the field with our team.

My parents are immigrants from small communities in Taiwan and thus much more accustomed to traditional Chinese medicine, and so experiencing the Western medicine-based healthcare system was a very jarring experience for them. I served as an interpreter (in terms of both language and culture) for my parents while growing up, including in healthcare settings, and I could always feel that they were much more comfortable with obtaining medical care in Taiwan, in their native language and community. 

Seeing that juxtaposition in their comfort level was a powerful motivator for my aspirations to become a primary care physician in rural and/or global settings. I am an Internal Medicine-Pediatrics resident now and had the wonderful opportunity to spend one month in Guatemala, of which two weeks were spent with Wuqu' Kawoq in Tecpán. There, I experienced firsthand the tremendous impact that a home-based, language-concordant, community-centered program can have on a population's trust in the healthcare system and the community's understanding of medical conditions. 

There is no way to adequately describe the strength of connection without seeing it in-person. I thought often of my parents and how they would have benefited tremendously from a program like Wuqu' Kawoq. I simply cannot wait to return to Guatemala and am so grateful to Wuqu' Kawoq for giving me an experience of a model of care and a community that felt like a second home to me. 

Please support this essential work with a contribution to [project]!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
The team from University of Cincinnati
The team from University of Cincinnati

Over the last seven years, we have benefitted from a wonderful partnership with the University of Cincinnati Medical School, which sends medical residents in the global health program to join our team five times a year. This allows us to reliably expand our capacity to care for more patients and gives patients the consistent care they need with doctors who are familiar with their medical concerns and understand the conditions they face in their communities and homes.

In this short video, team leader Dr. Christy O'Dea and Dr. Julie Lavey offer their perspectives on Guatemala's growing child malnutrition crisis.

Dr. Lavey notes that when it comes to malnutrition, the first two years of life are the most critical for setting children on a path to healthy, productive lives. She explains that this window is closing for many children born during the Covid pandemic: "We're missing an entire generation of kids if we're not able to provide for them right away."

You can help! With your support, our team can intensify nutrition services and add more supplements to help children in rural Guatemala recover from acute and chronic malnutrition during this challenging time.

We greatly appreciate your partnership!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Demonstrating portion sizes using household items.
Demonstrating portion sizes using household items.

The hunger problem in Guatemala continues to get worse. Rising costs of food, fuel, and fertilizers are driving basic expenses beyond the reach of most families; some 4.6 million Guatemalans cannot access enough food. More than 40 percent of children in the regions where we work are suffering from acute malnutrition, according to a report published August 17 in Prensa Libre, one of Guatemala’s major newspapers.

In the past, most of the children we care for have had chronic rather than acute malnutrition. While chronic malnutrition is a significant concern, as it can limit brain development and have lifelong consequences for a child’s health, education, and future prospects, acute malnutrition is life-threatening.

Our nutrition technicians are in the field doing everything they can to help mothers find ways to keep their babies fed and healthy. They offer one-on-one counseling for mothers and develop personalized plans for each child.

After receiving feedback from mothers, technicians are now using common household items such as mugs, bowls, and different sized fruits to show recommended portion sizes in relatable terms. This is just one example of the importance of partnering with families to achieve the best possible results.

We cannot thank you enough for helping to build a better future for the children of rural Guatemala in this critical time!

Using fruits to illustrate portion sizes.
Using fruits to illustrate portion sizes.
Providing guidance on breast feeding.
Providing guidance on breast feeding.
Measuring growth during a nutrition visit.
Measuring growth during a nutrition visit.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Wuqu' Kawoq

Location: Bethel, VT - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @wuqukawoq
Project Leader:
Anne Kraemer Diaz
Bethel, VT Guatemala
$526,192 raised of $600,000 goal
 
14,886 donations
$73,808 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Wuqu' Kawoq has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.