Despite the fact that Guatemala has an extremely vast potential for environmental resources, the country is suffering of a growing - and in some cases irreversible - environmental degradation due to deforestation, limited access to land ownership and other livelihood, lack of knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices, high use of “modern” agricultural inputs without adequate information on their dangerousness. The recent climatic emergencies in Guatemala have also caused a serious food crisis in the country. This crisis has particularly affected the Corredor Seco, the region in which the project is located. The department of Chiquimula, in particular, is located in this area and is one of the poorest in the country.
Dipartimento di Chiquimula, Guatemala
The project is the result of close cooperation between Mani Tese and the Santiago de Jocotàn Association, which began about a decade ago, with a first support to the services of the health centre managed by the Bethania dispensary for the care and treatment of children suffering from malnutrition and pregnant women.
The 12-month SOBERANOS project aims to improve the food security of the population of the department of Chiquimula by supporting administrative decentralisation processes and by increasing the quantity and quality of food produced in the region.
Department of Chiquimula, Communities of Dos Quebradas, Lantiquin and Quisipe,
550 peasants and their families
- Training on food sovereignty
The members of the Community Development Councils will be trained on topics such as agroecology, nutrition education, land ownership legislation, the right to food.
- Creation of seed reserves
We are going to build two seed reserves, one available to the communities of Tisipe and Dos quebradas, the other available to Lantiquin, for about 100 families involved. To set up two management committees and two Community parcels for the production of maize and beans. Moreover, to carry out practical training on the preparation of insecticides and organic fertilisers.
- Construction of rainwater collection systems
Of the families involved in the previous phase, 33 will be identified that will be formed on the construction of systems of rainwater collection. There will then be 33 water systems near the kitchen gardens, whose location will be decided in collaboration with the technical advice of the University of Florence. There will be training meetings on the technique for the collection and conservation of water and numerous visits to assist in the construction of water systems.
- Paths of nutrition education
The routes include:
– Theoretical and practical training for the preparation of food of high nutritional value using indigenous products.
– Installation of a food store prepared by workshop participants to disseminate good practices and provide additional income to families.
– Participation in regional food fairs for the promotion of food products.
– Radio programs realized by a local radio (Radio Chorti) with information about nutrition.