Farming for the Future: Combating Malnutrition in Indigenous Communities in Guatemala

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In the southern highlands of Guatemala people are hungry. Recent prolonged droughts and a drop in remittances due to the worldwide financial crisis have left many families unable to grown or buy food. Guatemala, which has one of the world's worst rates of chronic malnutrition for children under five (an estimated 47%), is facing a worsening food crisis.

To combat this problem, MADRE and Muixil have expanded Farming for the Future, a food security and microenterprise project for Indigenous Ixil women in El Quiché. With MADRE support, 135 women have received chickens as part of a new pilot project. The project improves community members' nutrition, and establishes a sustainable source of income as meat is sold in local and national markets.

One of the early signs of success of this project is the overwhelming level of interest it has generated throughout local communities. Many residents have asked to become members of Muixil in order to take part. MADRE and Muixil hope to expand the Farming for the Future program to 350 women this year, supporting a total of 2,450 people.