Social Issues

Charity aims to help Guatemalans battling hunger

Guatemala City, Feb 23 (EFE).- The charitable organization Guatemalans for Nutrition presented here Thursday a plan to assist 3,000 households in the northwestern Guatemalan province of Huehuetenango.

“These mobile camps equipped with health technology will attend to families in difficult-to-access communities,” executive director Jose Silva told EFE.

The units will be deployed starting March 18 in the municipalities of Cuilco, La Democracia and La Libertad, he said.

Built in Europe using shipping containers, the “Nutrimobiles” and the program represent an investment of $15 million on the part of Corporacion Castillo Hermanos, a conglomerate comprising more than 90 firms in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The camps will offer medical services with an emphasis on pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 5.

“After the urgent medical attention, we must attack the causes of the illness,” Silva said, explaining that the program includes steps to ensure access to safe drinking water and responsible management of wastewater.

Besides health care professionals, the staff includes experts who will help boost the productivity of family farms by providing energy-and-water-efficient greenhouses.

Participating families are likewise to receive advice about nutrition and techniques for growing healthy foods.

Operating on power generated by solar panels, the camp is meant to be self-reliant so as “not to generate a negative impact on the environment,” Silva said.

Guatemalans for Nutrition and Castillo Hermanos expect to extend the project to four other Huehuetenango municipalities later this year and to neighboring Quiche province in 2024.

And executives at Castillo Hermanos say the corporation is open to working with interested parties to replicate the initiative in other parts of Guatemala.

Nearly 60 percent of Guatemala’s 18 million people live in poverty and according to Ciprodeni, a coalition of children’s rights advocates, 125,400 new cases of chronic malnutrition were detected in 2022. EFE jcm/dr

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