DAY 16:
98 plant seedlings for a village in Guatemala

Esperanza means hope

'- and how a couple of vegetable plants can make a big difference

In Esperanza, a village in Guatemala, the indigenous population was systematically persecuted during the civil war, lasting from 1960 to 1996. The highlands as their main settlement area were extensively bombed. Even today large areas of this region are cut off from education, healthcare and the economy. In this condition people have little hope that their situation will improve, but the village Esperanza (hope in English) is a good starting point to change something.

Necessity

 

Alleviate poverty and counteract malnutrition

Activity

 

Distribute vegetable seedlings and create teaching areas

Countable effort

After around 12 months

Number of course participants and cultivated fields

Result

After around 3 years

Number of families who can provide for themselves thanks to the crop

Systemic effect

After around 7 years

Improved and healthier food situation in the region leads to better educational opportunities for children

Background

Hundreds of villages in the highlands of Guatemala live in poverty, like for instance in the village of Esperanza. Many people are Indigenas (indigenous people) and speak the Mam dialect and no Spanish, which is the official language in Guatemala. Most of the residents have no or only a minimal level of education. Diets are deficient partly due to the extreme poverty, but also to the lack of education. Corn is the most important and sometimes the only food here. Accordingly, children often suffer from malnutrition or severe deficiency.

The good deed

The project "vegetables eliminate poverty" focuses on nutrition. Women get provided with plant seedlings and learn how to cook varied and healthy meals from their harvest. At the same time they learn how to sell their products not only on the local market, but also in the entire region.

Challenge

Motivation is a crucial factor and it is not always easy to encourage people to believe that change is possible. However, a previously-run, successful pilot project has shown that it is possibe to overcome this challenge.

About Guatemala

Guatamala City

Capital

15,438,384 (2013)

Number of inhabitants

3,302

Gross domestic product per capita per year

133

Human Development Index

Highest diversity of indigenous cultures. Annual natural disasters are among the most devastating in the world. Highest infant-maternal mortality-rate of the Americas.

About the organization and further information

Association

Stiftung Kinderzukunft

Certified by

Member of the Federal Association of German Foundations Received an award as the foundation of the year 2009 DZI seal of approval

Further information and source