Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas

by Amextra, Inc.
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas
Nutrition for me and all my friends: Chiapas

Dear friend,

One of the most distinguishing factors about Amextra as a non-profit, as well as our nutrition project in the Highlands of Chiapas, is that we use creativity to address issues from environmental care to income generation to nutrition with a holistic approach.  Based on conversations with the communities, our regional reams create plans for workshops, ecotecnologies, and productive projects that could help the communities improve their quality of life. Today, we share with you just two recent ways we have used this creativity to spark dialogue and lasting change. 

PUPPET THEATER
In mid-August, Amextra´s regional team in Los Altos, Chiapas held a puppet theater performance for 68 children and adults in the communities Tzacucum and Namtic. In the performance, the puppets conversed about the topic of personal hygiene, thus teaching teaching children about the value of handwashing and other elements of hygiene in a fun and memorable way. 

NUTRITIONAL GASTRONOMIC FAIR
The second way this project incorporated creativity in this period is the gastronomical fair.  In September, two gastronomic exhibitions were held in the communities Canech and Tzacucum in the municipality of Chalchihuitán. In this fair 47 people participated by preparing a dish to share with the other participants. This exchange serves as a recipe exchange, with participants trying new combinations of locally-produced ingredients produced in vegetable gardens, greenhouses, oyster mushroom modules, chicken coops, and local agricultural projects.

Thank you for being a part of this transformative project and for your continued interest in reading our advances.  If you don't already, we invite you to follow us on Facebook (AmextraOficial), Instagram (AmextraMex) or Twitter (AmextraOficial) to see more photos and videos from this project

All the best,


Stephanie Ahlgrain

Manager of Fundraising and Strategic Alliances

www.amextra.org

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Water purification workshop
Water purification workshop

Dear friends and allies,

I hope this report finds you and your loved ones well.  Here at Amextra we are doing well, and busy adapting to the "new normal" both at our central offices in Mexico City as well as in our 6 regional offices, including the one in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas where our Los Altos nutrition and food security project is based.  Here are some of the major advances of the "Nutrition for me and all my friends" project from March, April, and May 2021:  

  • The 2nd training session for community promoters, called “Strengthening community leadership” was held in mid April. 8 men and 3 women from the Aldama and Chalchihuitán municipalities participated, where they shared work experiences and ideas for improving their communities. 
  • In May, our local team led a coffee management workshop, where 9 people from the Canech community in the Chalchihuitán municipality participated. During the workshop participants made slits in the strongest plants to stimulate the growth of new shoots; and these, in turn, will begin to bear fruit and improve the productive yields of this crop in a period of 3 years.
  • Finally, we held our first water analysis and purification session in which 16 people from Namtic, Chalchihuitán participated. This activity seeks to create awareness about boiling and/or purifying water; as well as learning to perform water analysis, since rivers, wells, lakes and even rainwater can contain impurities that trigger gastrointestinal diseases that mostly affect children.

Thank you for reading our quarterly report! Your donations as support make this impact possible.  

 

All the best,

 

Stephanie

Manager of Fundraising and Strategic Alliances

www.amextra.org

Local leaders exchange experience
Local leaders exchange experience
Coffee plants division
Coffee plants division
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Hello! I hope your 2021 is starting off in the best way, with health and peace for you and those you love. Amextra´s health and nutrition program in Los Altos (Highlands) of Chiapas ended with a time of reflection between the regional team and the families we serve, and this year is starting off strong with workshops, planning, and exchange of information. Here are just three acheivements we want to highlight from the period of December 2020 and January and February 2021.

  • 114 people participated in the “2020 Summary and 2021 Planning” workshop in the communities of Aldama and Chalchihuitán. In this yearly workshop the families we work with share what they liked best about their work with Amextra and as a community during the year, share what they think could have gone better, and make plans for a collaborative and successful next year.  
  • 4 women participated in the planting of tomatoes, cilantro and radishes, of the Xulumó community greenhouse in Aldama. This greenhouse serves as a demonstrative project to other communities, where they can see how working in a greenhouse benefits the community of Aldama and decide if they would like to work on one in their own community.
  • 16 women participated in the 1st practical workshop on hygiene and cleaning of ecological latrines, to avoid infectious diseases in the community of Namtic in the municipality Chalchihuitán.  These ecological latrines are generally well-accepted by the communities, as they provide a hygenic alternative to defication in open spaces, thus preventing contamination of water and soil and providing families with more comfort. These 16 women that have been trained had this space to ask questions and learn best practices for making the most of the ecological latrines.  

Thank you for being a part of this project and the Amextra community. It will be a joy and honor to share the advances in this project with you every trimester throughout the year, 

 

All the best,

 

Stephanie

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Dear friend, 

As you may know at Amextra, we believe in addressing health and nutrition in a holistic manner, working not only towards increased agricultural production but also alternatives to agrochemicals, clean water, breastfeeding workshops, hygiene workshops, and more. We want the families to make the most of the time spent with the regional team to ask questions, practice new techniques, and feel confident in replicating projects on their own. 

In the communities in the Highlands (Los Altos) of Chiapas thankfully there have not been cases of Covid-19, so small groups and families have been able to meet. Three of the areas we have been able to focus on from July to September 2020 are: 

Ointments for chicken pox. As part of the ethno-veterinary activities in the community of Canech, Tzacucum in Chiapas, we held a workshop on preparing natural ointments for chickens, in order for families to keep their birds healthy and strong. Four women and one man participated, obtaining 650 grams of the product that was distributed among the attendees.

Training of community promoters. The "community promoters" are people who, based on the knowledge acquired and the sharing of experiences, will be able to lead activities for the benefit of their community, including Tzacucum, Canech, Namtic, Xulumo, Tabilhucum and Santa Cruz in Aldama and Chalchihuitán, Chiapas; An educational meeting was held in which 12 women and 11 men participated, who learned about the importance of serving as a community promoter.

Healthy food preparation. Food preparation is a daily activity that involves various procedures and traditions, in the community of Canech in Chiapas we held a workshop on the use of peanuts in a traditional recipe, making small changes in the ingredients and preparation, in order to improve the nutritional characteristics of common local dishes. Eleven people from the community group participated in the workshop.

When combined, these projects and others allow the communities to improve their food sources and quality, as well as their leadership qualities that will allow them to begin new projects with the skills they have learned.  

As always, thank you for your support!  It is because of people like you that we are able to carry out these projects and change the lives of thousands of people every year.

Warmly,

 

Stephanie Ahlgrain

Manager of Fundraising and Alliances

Facebook: AmextraOficial

Twitter: Amextra Oficial

Instagram: AmextraMex

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Dear friend,

Thank you for being a part of this project and for your interest in learning about the advances of health and nutrition programing in Chiapas.  As with most non-profit organizations, we have undergone some changes to our operational plans this 2020. The global spread of Covid-19 has had effects across Mexico, including in the Los Altos region where we work in this project.  

In the spirit of sharing some good news in an otherwise dark time, here are two of the achievements we had this trimester, up until Covid-19 made our visiting the communities unsafe for our teams as well as the remote tzotzil families. 

Bio filter for water. Right before we paused our visits to communities, in February a bio filter was built the community of Tzacucum in Aldama, Chiapas. A bio filter is a tool that helps remove contaminants from the water using materials such as: coarse gravel, sand, biochar and stones, the purpose of which is that the quality of the water is safer for home use. Eight people from the group in Aldama participated in the preparation of this filter (as seen in photos). Access to clean water is one of the most important determinants of childhood health, and we are thankful to have built this filter as access to water is more important than ever.  

Beekeeping. Beekeeping is important for environmental protection, biodiversity, and as a source of employment and income generation for many families. That is why in the community of Xulumo Aldama, Chiapas, we carried out activities such as strengthening of hives and raising queen bees to introduce to weak hives. Three people who participated in the workshop learned about these activities in order to improve the management and control of diseases in bees and obtain better quality honey and derivatives in the future. During the pandemic our agricultural coordinator has traveled to the hives several times to provide essential maintenance and supervision. However, in to provide the least risk these visits were carried out alone and without calling families to be present.  We were able to carry out a few visits before March, like the one in Xulumo pictured below. 

We look forward to working with the communities in person once again as soon as we evaluate that it is safe. Through these trimestral reports as well as through our Facebook (@AmextraOficial) we´ll be sharing more information about the achievements we have throughout the following months. 

Stay healthy and safe.  

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Organization Information

Amextra, Inc.

Location: Aurora, IL - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AmextraOficial
Project Leader:
Stephanie Ahlgrain
Mexico City, Mexico
$7,488 raised of $10,000 goal
 
148 donations
$2,512 to go
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