Since October 2019, Mani Tese has been active in Guatemala with the “Fight against malnutrition in the Chiquimula department” project which involves the communities of Dos Quebradas and Lantiquin in the Camotán area. The goal is to fight hunger and improve the health and hygiene conditions of families through a series of training courses on agroecology and home hygiene.
Señora Maria Felipa Garcia Diaz is one of the women involved in the project and has enthusiastically attended all the training courses. When her husband, who had emigrated to Honduras for two months, returned, Felipa told him what she had learned and, together, they immediately began to cultivate a plot of land following the good agroecological practices taught to her by the students and professors of the University Center of Oriente, project partner.
Doña Felipa and her husband thus planted the fruit trees that had been delivered to them, sowed corn and beans in the garden and began to diversify the crops on their land which they decided to call “El aguacate” (in fact, among things also received avocado plants). Thanks to the harvest, the family had enough food to support themselves even during the pandemic.
In addition, doña Felipa has learned how to make new natural recipes with the fruits of her labor, has created medicines with natural extracts and has prepared organic pesticides that keep pests away from her crops without damaging the soil.
Finally, comparing with the other families of the Dos Quebradas community and the technical team of the project, Felipa understood the possible causes of water contamination and how the surfaces of her home could carry diseases, such as chagas due to a bedbug that slips into the cracks in the walls, and is convinced of the importance of expanding the house by creating a separate area in which to keep the animals.
When the technical team visited her to monitor progress, they could see the improvements in the home environment that was clean and tidy, with an entrance embellished with decorative plants grown by Felipa and a separate area where their animals lived ( chickens, hens and pigs).
Everyone congratulated Felipa and she explained how each member of the family had actively participated in the cleaning and how, with great teamwork, they were able to make a satisfying change to their home and their lives.
Doña Felipa’s family has become a model for the others selected by the project so that they too can improve the home environment, reduce the incidence of communicable diseases and increase their food security.
Here are some photos of doña Felipa at work: