Lifelong learning helps a Guatemalan grandma care for her family

“I want my grandchildren to grow healthy; that is the reason I am dedicating my time to learn about agriculture,” says 44-year-old Dominga who always has been an active member of her community high in the hills of Guatamala.

Guatemala’s children have the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in all
of Latin America, and it’s estimated that in rural areas, as many as
8 out of 10 children are chronically malnourished (source).
If you go there, you’ll see many people very short in stature–a trend that can’t be explained away by genetics. 

Generations of children have grown up largely on a diet of tortillas, corn and coffee, stunting their development and contributing to poor school performance.

“There have been many people and organizations that have come to our community to teach us about community development, but none of those have done a job like Food for the Hungry,” Dominga says. “FH is teaching the importance of education but also how to take care of the young children to do well in school.

“Right now, I do not have any young kids, but I have many grandchildren to care for. Everything I learn from FH I teach my grandchildren also,” she says.

FH’s number-one goal in Guatemala is to improve the health of children by training and equipping parents on proper nutrition.

Before FH came to Dominga’s community, she simply shadowed her husband as he grew corn and beans. But FH encouraged the women to grow more vegetables for the improved health of their families and to earn a greater income, so Dominga learned to grow cabbage, broccoli, carrots and coriander in a community garden.

Today, as an “agriculture promoter,” Dominga has her own booming garden and teaches other parents the things she learned from FH.

“That makes me very happy and proud,” she says. “The goal is to learn how to grow vegetables with highly nutritious value and also profitable products so we can have our own gardens by our houses later on.”

“My goal is to harvest a lot of vegetables so I earn a little bit of money, but also I want to give my daughters and daughters-in-law lots of vegetables to feed my grandchildren better,” says Dominga (above).

“I thank God and FH for allowing me to become part of the agriculture program,” she says. “I have learned a lot; now, I can work the land better, and it is very easy to do. Now, I can teach the young women about it and its importance. If we all do that, our children would have better health and have an extra source of income.”

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