Happy Late Thanksgiving!

Doesn’t everyone research facts about Guatemala at 5:30 am?  Sometimes the morning is my only quiet time to research facts, ministries, and grants in Guatemala.  Before spending time researching, I did not realize the poverty in Guatemala compared to the other parts of the world.  Here are a few observations from the World Food Programme about Guatemala:

National stunting in Guatemala in children aged 6-59 is the fourth highest in the world and the highest in the region. At 46.5 percent nationwide, the stunting rate climbs up to 70 percent in some departments, with peaks as high as 90 percent in the hardest hit municipalities.

Guatemala is among the ten most vulnerable countries to climate change worldwide, and is the fourth most exposed to natural disasters in the region. Climate shocks have a critical impact on food security.

Poverty and extreme poverty rates (59% and 23% respectively) increased between 2006 and 2014.

Almost half the population cannot afford the cost of the basic food basket. As a result, the prevalence of stunting in children under 5 is one of the highest in the world – and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean.  At 46.5 percent nationally, the stunting rate climbs up to 70 percent in some departments, with peaks as high as 90 percent in the hardest hit municipalities.

A multi-ethnic country with a rich cultural heritage, Guatemala is one of the most unequal countries in Latin America. While two thirds of the overall population live on less than US$ 2 per day, poverty affects indigenous people disproportionately: 80 percent of them experience deprivation in multiple aspects of their lives, including food security, nutrition, health and education.

Guatemala is among the 10 countries that are most vulnerable to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. Over the past three years, extended dry seasons have had a severe impact on the livelihoods of subsistence farmers, who rely on rain-fed agriculture, especially in the Dry Corridor. Poor soil conditions, over exploitation of forest resources, degraded lands, small size of plots, and lack of access to credit, agricultural supplies and technical assistance drive agricultural productivity and profitability further down.

This is just a reminder of how important the three weekly nutritious meals are for the children in the program.

These children have become much more than just “poor” children to us.  They are children who we love–they are children with a purpose–they are children created and loved by God.

These children receive food January through December.  For the vast majority of these children, the only meat and vegetables they will receive come from the feeding center.  Thank you to each person who invest in these children!

Of course a huge treat last week was Thanksgiving dinner.  Turkey, mashed potatoes,  macaroni and cheese, and cake was a huge hit!  Turkey is an expensive meat so the kids do not receive it except at the center.

Even the construction workers and feeding center workers enjoyed turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, broccoli casserole, and pumpkin ooey-gooey cake.  They were happy!


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