Vegetables To the Rescue in Guatemala


Our field blogger today is Paola Cardona, communications and public relations coordinator for Food for the Hungry (FH) Guatemala. Here she relates a recent visit to one of FH’s communities where we fight malnutrition by teaching mothers how to plant vegetables.  According to the World Food Programme, Guatemala has the highest malnutrition rate in the Americas and the fourth highest rate in the world. (All photos by Freddy Murphy)

It was nearly ten o’clock and was cloudy; it looked like it would rain when we arrived at Chioya, a community in Alta Verapaz region.

Photo by Freddy Murphy



With hands covered in dirt, Juana walked toward us from her garden. “It is a joy to have you here,” she said with a smile on her face.

Juana and her family were waiting for us, and without any prompting from us, she began to tell us her story.

“I was afraid of planting anything because I did not know all the good I could do with my land. FH showed us how to work the land and now that I have my garden, I teach 10 other mothers in the community how to grow vegetables. See, because this is not only for my family but for them too, “said Juana cheerfully and confidently.


With emotion, and a little ashamed of her dirty hands, Juana took us to see her garden and introduced us to her children. She showed us what she had planted. “Broccoli, cabbage, cilantro, radish, celery, carrots, chard, beets… I have had the blessing of God, for everything I have sown, has been great for my family.”

Photo by Freddy Murphy

Juana’s daughter holds a photo of her mom with a huge carrot.

Her beautiful daughter Megly came into the house to bring a photograph. It was proof that Juana had harvested the biggest carrots I had ever seen, and also proof of why she was so grateful to God.

“I feel happy because this represents less spending for my family, because when I need food, I just go into the garden,” Juana said.

There was so much joy and peace in that place where they smiled and enjoyed spending a little time with us.

How can you help families like Juana’s combat deadly malnutrition?

  • You can sponsor a child in Guatemala.  In part, your monthly sponsorship helps pay for the seeds, tools, and staff that train moms like Juana how to grow and prepare healthy vegetables for their children to eat.
  • You can give a one-time donation to Where Needed Most.