This is a project benefiting children, nutrition and food security. 75 tzotzil families in Chiapas, Mexico increase their corn production, plant fruit trees, expand community greenhouses, build a school garden, and participate in interactive, hands-on workshops for balanced diets and preparation of healthy foods. In one year, 120 children from these families will have access to a wider diversity of fresh, nutritious ingredients, helping them grow strong and healthy.
In Mexico, 7.25% of children ages 5-14 suffer from chronic malnutrition in urban areas, and this figure doubles in rural areas of the country (UNICEF, 2017). Without adequate nutrition in the formative years, children grow up without the energy necessary to play, create and learn. The municipalities where Amextra collaborates in this project, Aldama and Chalchihuitan, are among the municipalities with the highest percentage of families experiencing poverty in Mexico.
Six strategies are implemented in this project to develop lasting conditions for balanced nutrition and food security in the 8 communities where we collaborate: 1) the MIAF system for increased corn and fruit production and prevention of soil erosion 2) maintenance of community greenhouses 3) construction of a school garden 4) recovery and sharing of native seeds 5) workshops on preparing diverse, locally produced foods 6) breastfeeding workshops for both new and experienced moms.
When children grow up with the proper nutrition, they are more likely to thrive, becoming strong future leaders in their communities. This project not only decreases malnutrition in the short-term, but also shares with families techniques that will improve their nutrition and food production for years to come. The local leaders that are trained in health and nutrition during this project ensure that the knowledge gained can be passed on to future generations and with neighboring communities.