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United Way Blog

Leading Sustainable Food Security Initiatives in Guatemala

Gloria Margarita is a 32-year-old mother who lives in San Marcos Chamil, San Juan Chamelco, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. She is the mother of a young boy named Kleberson and lives with her husband, Javier Tut, her mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. Margarita is a participant in the United Way of Guatemala’s (UWG) "A Thousand Days to Change a Life" program, which is dedicated to addressing food security and sustainable practices.

Through this program, Margarita has not only acquired knowledge of best practices but has also developed new skills that have significantly enhanced her family's quality of life. The primary focus of this program has been on her son's development and overall well-being. As a first-time mother, Margarita initially had uncertainties regarding essential baby care and recognizing warning signs in children under two years of age.

With the invaluable support of UWG and its local partners, along with the assistance of Bayer, Margarita had the opportunity to overcome her uncertainties. Evidence-based interventions and practices have brought about positive transformations for her and her family.

Additionally, Margarita and her family actively participate in the "19 Practices for Better Living" project. This initiative places emphasis on capacity building and offers monthly counseling, food distribution, training in family gardening, and culinary practices. They have also been part of training sessions that cover personal hygiene practices and discussions on the care of pregnant women and newborns. Through these monthly visits, the Tut family has witnessed an improvement in their overall quality of life. Margarita expresses that this program has made a profound difference in her life. She now possesses greater confidence in her ability to care for her family and, more importantly, is in a position to share this knowledge with other mothers in her community.

The Tut family generously shares their newfound knowledge with their community, including insights into hygiene habits, early childhood stimulation, home gardening, and the cultivation of various nutritious foods such as chard, lettuce, parsley, radish, lentils, and rice, all of which contribute to nourishing their son, Kleberson.

However, what Margarita is most thankful for is the general counseling and guidance she has received on complementary feeding. She expresses her deep gratitude, saying, "I appreciate the support provided by the foundation and its collaborators. Without a doubt, this experience is strengthening our community. Thank you."

The positive impact on the Tut family continues to expand, and UWG's assistance will enable more families to benefit from these commendable initiatives. This endeavor is an integral part of the Central America multisector alliance, Central America Growth, which is dedicated to enhancing early childhood services in the region. If you interested in learning more about the program, visit here.