Food Security for Mayan Families in Guatemala

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Short description

Organic agriculture trainings, creation of communal garden, and produce store for rural communities cut-off from food du


At the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, the Guatemalan government prohibited public transportation throughout the country overnight. This action was done to reduce virus spread in Guatemala but unfortunately did not provide any safeguards for the well-being of many rural indigenous communities. Rural communities found themselves within four hours completely cut off from stores, commercial centers, medical care, and access to jobs and income. In the rural communities of Pacutama and Chuictuama, nobody owns a private car and they have no local stores in which to buy food. The closest commercial center in order to buy food and soap is 22km away. Before the Covid-19 crisis, families depended on local buses and shared mini-vans to get to and from the town each week to buy food. Without public transportation, they are now stranded.

For over 2 months and counting, since the national quarantine, the communities have subsisted on only the corn that they have grown from last year and find themselves in desperate need of food, especially fresh vegetables and protein sources like beans.

While the government in their public discourse has offered food support to families in Guatemala, the poorest communities in the country, have not received anything and have been stranded without any government communication or offer of assistance.

To address the emergency food crisis, during these months, Yabal Guatemala has provided food donations for 90 families, over 300 people. While this aid was necessary, it is unfortunately not a long-term sustainability solution.

Looking ahead to the months and possibly years to come, the Yabal communities of Pacutama and Chuicutama are looking for solutions to, and help for, their lack of food security. The current condition of partial quarantine that is happening currently in Guatemala is expected to continue off and on for the next 1-2 years until there is a global vaccination option. This means that the communities of Pacutama and Chuicutama have to prepare for a future in which they will be periodically cut off from transportation, food, and supplies in the 1-2 years to come.
This current situation in which they find themselves has laid bare how vulnerable they are to famine without the development of local options for food access and healthy food production. Because of this necessity, Yabal Guatemala proposes the following food security programs to prevent continuing hunger in these areas:
• Organic Fava Bean production
• Community-run Vegetable Store
• Community Organic Vegetable Garden

These are project proposal requests from the council of women from both communities. We plan to train over 50 women from both communities in the business administration of the vegetable store, and in organic agricultural techniques in order to create empowered women leaders.

Target country


Project type

  • Alleviation
  • Climate
  • Education
  • Food
  • Nature
  • Wellbeing

Support needed

  • Anything
  • Bootstrapping
  • General management
  • Operations
  • Raising capital

What we need help with

We need support to help us buy seeds, fencing, and materials for a community vegetable garden; private transportation in order to bring in materials to the communities; funds to hire an agronomist facilitator to train over 50 women and 30 men from both communities in organic agriculture production and guide them in the planting, growing, and cultivation process; seeds and organic fertilizer for fava bean production

Best way to get in touch

email to

Project status

  • Just started