The devastating drought in Guatemala, now a declared state of emergency in 16 of 22 departments in central and western Guatemala, has affected more than 750,000 families. Crop loss is estimated at 80 percent for corn production and 63 percent for bean production.
Of those 16 departments, Friendship Bridge serves clients in half of them: Quiche, Huehuetenango, Retalhuleu, Suchitepequez, Sololá, Totonicapan, Chimaltenango and San Marcos.
During what is supposed to be Guatemala’s rainy season, more than a month went by without any showers. Officials estimate the economic consequences of the drought at Q450 million ($57.4 million).
More than ever, women need sustainable businesses they can rely on in these difficult times. Food prices are skyrocketing. The more sustainable defenses Friendship Bridge can build with our clients, the better they will be when these crises occur.
As access to food dwindles, incidents of malnutrition will rise, and this is deadly in a nation where one in five children are already malnourished. Our health program teaches mothers proper nutrition and eating habits for their children. With this education and the businesses our clients run, their children receive better access to food and improved nutrition. The children of Friendship Bridge clients are headed in the right direction.