Guatemalan Villages Face Food Insecurity
We have been in contact with our partner organizations in Guatemala to monitor the situation on the ground.
Berta Cúmiz, the Executive Director of ADEMI, the Association of Ixpiyakok Women, an organization founded by widows of Guatemala's civil war, which is based in Tecpan, Chimaltenango, works on the issues of women and children’s health, acro-ecology and women’s leadership. Guatemala closed its borders to visitors in mid-March, instituted a curfew, and banned travel between its departments. This order is a literal lockdown with people confined to their homes, except for three hours a day when a family member can buy food items, which are becoming ever more expensive. However, in the numerous rural villages where ADEMI works, there is no public transportation, and many communities do not have a nearby market for buying food, resulting in many residents facing food insecurity. People who travel outside their village are subject to fines, which if not paid, may result in jail time.
GPA’s partnership with ADEMI has included working with many women in these areas to plant community and family gardens. Those who have maintained their gardens are in a better situation to survive the lockdown. However, other residents are not as fortunate. In addition, many people are experiencing shortages of water, which will affect their crops, and blackouts. GPA is working with ADEMI to strategize about how best to serve the needs of these communities, and will make its small grant flexible to be used to meet the most critical needs of the communities.