PROJECT #229

Project #229 | Food, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability in Guatemala

Our Partnership with Wellkind Gautemala

Tzununá, a village along the shore of Lake Atitlán, is populated almost entirely by Kaq’chikel Maya. An estimated 70% of people living around Lake Atitlán live in poverty, and 32% in absolute poverty. As many as 66% of children under the age of five are stunted due to poor nutrition.  Environmental degradation amplifies these economic and social challenges. Lake Atitlán is Central America’s largest drinking water source. However, only about 20% of sewage produced by the surrounding community is treated. Untreated wastewater ends up in rivers, the lake itself, or on open grounds. The lake has also been negatively impacted by habitat degradation, loss of forest cover, cyanobacteria blooms, and vulnerability to hurricanes and other extreme weather events.

One Day’s Wages partnered with Wellkind Guatemala to support food security, economic development, and environmental sustainability in Tzununá. In collaboration with local leaders and community members, they work at the intersection of these issues by planting food forests and organic home gardens. These initiatives block the flow of pollutants into Lake Atitlán, help families boost their consumption of healthy greens, and offer planters excess fruits and vegetables that they can sell at the local market. In addition, Wellkind manages a weaving co-operative for indigenous women artisans. The women earn fair trade wages for their work, making enough to cover food and clothes for their families and to send their children to school. Through our partnership, over 20,000 trees were planted, 256 families planted home gardens, and 40 women join the weaving cooperative.

Our Collective Impact

Women Trained in Weaving Co-op

New Home Gardens Planted

Trees Planted For Food & Firewood

Meet Maria

As a child, Maria was unable to study because her parents spent the family’s money on liquor. Now in a similar situation with her husband, she is raising her three children while working to support her own family on a single income. Maria is a leader of Wellkind Guatemala’s orchards project, helping us communicate the benefits of home orchards to new stakeholders and supporting her neighbors with their gardens. In addition, she is a mentor among the women in the artisan weavers’ cooperative. From her work, we have seen more engagement and productivity from the different artisan groups.

She has also taken care of her organic garden more than anyone else and has served as an example to follow. Maria’s biggest goal is to open a business selling food and vegetables. She hopes to gain financial independence from her husband, who spends most of his money on drink. This way she can “save money and better her living situation and provide for her children.”

Maria shares: “I dream of helping more communities near Tzununá with the crochet business that we are doing now, empowering local women through handicrafts.”

Thank you for making this possible!

Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.

If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our climate impact und.

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