The department of Alta Vera Paz has the lowest development indicators in Guatemala. Indigenous Poqomchi' communities are located on fragile mountainsides, degraded through slash-and-burn agriculture. Families face high food insecurity, poor health conditions, and lack of access to education and health services. They survive on limited income from coffee and cardamom production, and by growing corn for consumption. Communities are vulnerable to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
Experiment with techniques for ecologically sound agriculture. Spread approaches that demonstrate success through exchange visits and trainings.
Starting with the urgent need of improving crop yields, the program will organize Mayan communities to gain training that can address health, increased income and other community priorities.