Nearly seventy percent of Guatemala’s indigenous population suffers from chronic malnutrition. Families are often able to get sufficient calories, but are severely deficient in key vitamins and minerals.
Mayan Families has been running a Community Garden Program for mothers of our San Antonio Preschool Nutrition Center since 2014. The program has two main goals:
- Empower women by promoting individual and community well-being in an area with high incidence of domestic abuse and stress-related mental and physical illness.
- Educate about basic nutrition, so that the women are better equipped to combat traditionally high-levels of household food insecurity.
The San Antonio Palopó garden project is primarily a centre of learning for the participants; a safe place where community ties are strengthened and healthy living is promoted. The program emphasizes mindfulness and well-being, and aims to demonstrate how anxiety can be channeled into stress-relieving activities such as gardening and community involvement.
The program curriculum covers basic gardening skills and principles of organic agroecology, as well as cooking classes and lessons in nutrition. The mothers are responsible for the weekly upkeep in the garden, and their regular attendance qualifies them for graduation from the program.
Upon graduating, they receive supplies for a box garden to practice their cultivation skills at home. Sustainability is emphasized through seed collection and compost production, and the most enthusiastic participants are invited to become mentors and project leaders the following year.
How can you get involved?
For more information, contact us at email@example.com