Life in Guatemala
I went to a presentation by WINGS, a group working in reproductive rights and education for women. Here are some stunning statistics in Guatemala:
1 out of 2 children under the age of 5 is cronically malnourished.
Guatemalan women are 67 times more likely to die in childbirth than women in the U.S.
Guatemala has an average fertility rate of 3.6 children per woman. That rate increases to 6.2 amound indigenous women.
Guatemala ranks 116 out of 135 countries for gender equailty.
Guatemala is the most gender unequal country in all of Latin America.
54% of the population lives on less than $2 a day.
13% live on less that $1.25 per day.
Wow, this was all shocking. I have seen the prices of food go up and the wages stay the same.
It's hard to walk away from a talk like that feeling hopeful. Malnutrition not only effects childrens physical health but also their brain development. The ramifications are huge.The hope comes from being a part of the great group of people trying to make a difference here.
Hearing this talk helps me remember that what Farmer to Farmer is doing is very important. If we can help just a small group of people better their lives, it's a big help for that group. And though there is so much we could do and needs to be done, we are making a difference. Just as important is deep personal connections we have with these amazing people. The visits, sitting together sharing stories, troubles, hopes and laughs, deepen that connection.
So here's to our Farmer to Farmer's work here (and in Honduras) trying to help with our school scholarships, support of the Open Doors library, paying the coffee farmers a fair and much higher price and all the other things in between.
I'm happy to be representing Farmer to Farmer here in Guatemala as is Andy in Honduras.
Feliz Nuevo Año. Happy New Year and may 2014 bring more peace, prosperity and happiness for all of the women and men in Guatemala and in the world.