District Grant lnternational Project 2015-16
Child Nutrition/Amaranth Training Project, Guatemala
Last year, the Grants Pass Rotary Club responded to the grave need in northwestern Guatemala to alleviate chronic child malnutrition. This Central American country has the fourth highest level in the world of this debilitating condition. The Club partnered with Rogue Gateway, lllinois Valley, and Rogue Valley “After Five” Rotary Clubs, and the cooperating agency, Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala.
- To create a training center that would include:
- Renovation of sleeping accommodations and kitchen area
- Building a seedling greenhouse
- Supplying and installing water storage tanks
- To provide intensive training for impoverished villagers to enable them how to grow and harvest the high-nutrition grain, Amaranth. Amaranth, an ancient Mesoamerican grain is a protein powerhouse-it can contain up to 20% of protein, easily trumping the protein content of other grains.
- To train mothers from Mayan villages on how to plant, harvest, and save the seeds of this nutritious grain. Training focuses on soil preparation and composting, growing and transplanting seedlings, caring for the plants, harvesting the grain, and preparing it as a breakfast food for their children.
Training in Action:
Senior students from the cooperating agency’s school, Maya Jaguar, draw upon their own two-year certified agricultural course to prepare theoretical and practical seminars. They lecture on amaranth’s history, its nutritionalvalue, and how to grow harvest ad cook the grain.
Under the direction of a university-trained agronomist, the students manage each and every detail of the seminars, from building cots for the mother’s dormitory, to constructing the training tent, to meal planning and preparation, and finally, to providing one-on-one guidance in planting and harvesting.