Social Issues

Social project offers sustainable solution to malnutrition in northern Guatemala

Guatemala City, Aug 24 (EFE).- In Guatemala, a nation grappling with high poverty rates and where chronic malnutrition affects one in every two children, the private social initiative ‘Guatemalans for Nutrition’ aims to “provide a sustainable solution” to this socioeconomic and health crisis.

The program, active in three communities in the Huehuetenango department in the country’s northwest, has seen a full recovery in 67% of the 104 children with acute malnutrition it has treated since March.

According to a statement released by the project’s management, rescuing these 70 lives became feasible “thanks to a holistic approach,” offering primary health care, nutritional support, food, water access, sanitation, and bolstering household economies.

“Malnutrition is a multifaceted issue and, as such, needs to be tackled from multiple angles. A person’s nutritional state isn’t only influenced by risk factors like food scarcity but also by biological, economic, and environmental determinants,” highlighted the business conglomerate Castillo Hermanos, the project’s brainchild.

In 2022, the company pledged about $15 million to kick-start Guatemalans for Nutrition, which, in its initial 16 weeks of operation, delivered over 3,000 services, including medical consultations, nutritional advice, and laboratory tests.

“We’re extremely pleased with the results… What excites us most is the recovery of 67% of children with acute malnutrition enrolled in the program,” the program’s director, José Silva, said.


At the heart of this holistic effort are mobile units dubbed “Nutrimóviles,” primarily serving children under five with malnutrition and pregnant women.

“It’s been a consistent effort of monitoring, evaluation, and home visits we’ve undertaken in recent weeks,” Silva added.

Given the project’s success, company executives hope the model can be duplicated in other areas of the country by entities eager to join this crucial endeavor.

In Guatemala, 59% of its 18 million residents live in poverty, as per data from various international and local agencies. EFE



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