Working one-on-one with Families is the key of success
By Emily Lopez | Development and Digital Communications Manager
Blanca providing nutritional education to dona Ana
When seven-year-old Mishel’s family found Wuqu’ Kawoq through word of mouth six years ago, Mishel was unable to walk. She was born with a bone disorder that results in short, thin, brittle bones and joint and leg pain and that left her bed ridden and created a variety of other health problems.
Her family had limited resources for help with her complex health conditions. Her father Don Manuel is a farmer who works fumigating onions, and her mother Dona Ana works at home washing clothes, cleaning, and weaving traditional Solola blouses.
Working with her family, the Wuqu’ Kawoq team has been able to help Mishel grow and thrive. She now has leg braces that help her get around and receives regular visits from our team to monitor her health and nutrition.
Today, she’s an elementary school student who enjoys playing with dolls and stuffed animals, riding her bike, and doing homework.
“Now Mishel is walking very well,” her mother said. “Every month, we see her improve.”
Working one-on-one with families to figure out the best way to help their children is one of the keys to our Family-Centered Nutrition Program. Families often know best what their children need and are the ones doing the work every day to help them improve.
Thank you for supporting this work so that Mishel and hundreds of children like her in rural Guatemala have brighter, stronger futures!
Among other things, Dr. Montenegro, a nutrition expert, leads our work investigating the impact of daily egg consumption on infant growth and development in rural Guatemala.The Saqmolo’ Project (named for the word “egg” in the Mayan language of Kaqchikel) is looking at whether children who receive an egg each day in their diets in addition to other recommended nutritional supplements fare significantly better in growth and development. Work like this helps the government and organizations like ours understand what works best in the fight against malnutrition.
After studying in Guatemala, the US, the Netherlands, and Germany, Dr. Montenegro returned to Guatemala to realize her dream of working as a researcher focused on community health in her home country. She is excited to have the opportunity to foster collaborative, science-based research to shift policies and create effective practices to improve health outcomes.
“We are one Guatemala, and we have to work together for changes, make our contributions as citizens,” she said. “We at Wuqu’ Kawoq are committed to doing this.”
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!
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