Close this search box.

4.6 million people are affected by the hunger crisis

The meeting place consists of a small school with two classrooms without electricity or potable water. There, forty-eight families arrived to receive the food CARE Guatemala is providing to fight the hunger crisis the country is experiencing. 

Every day, even more families suffer from lack of food. In the beginning of the year, there were 3.73 million people in hunger crisis, but by May, their number had increased to 3.9 million. This month, there are 4.6 million people without enough food to have their three daily meals. 

According to the Global Hunger Response Situation report #6, Guatemala is the second country in Latin America with the highest hunger crisis, and this year the most affected departments are Alta Verapaz and Quiché. 

We are focused on this latter one, more specifically in the Loma Linda hamlet, township of Sacapulas, which requires a 40-minute ride passing through a narrow and improvised road of dirt with large slopes. The magnificent sight of the mountains contrasts with the reality of the place.

A 16-year-old girl approaches the table, birth certificate in hand, and she’s pregnant. It is expected for the food provisions to be enough for her and her family during a full month. This situation repeats throughout various communities, as Quiché is the third department with the highest rate of teen mothers. 

“Nothing gets here for us” said a Mayan K’iche’ from the community. Spanish is not her native language, but she speaks it well enough to express her gratitude. She explained that the job opportunities are scarce and that they do not have basic services. Also, the land and weather are not helping them either, as the arable land is limited, and the weather is dry. If it does not rain soon, the harvest will not survive. 

We hope it rains so the cornfields don’t die

The raining season this year has been extensive. The floods and landslides have affected more than 2.8 million people. However, at the other end of the township of Sacapulas, in the Pacaguex hamlet, rain is scarce and raises concerns among residents.

“We hope it rains so the cornfields don’t die,” says Ana Lux. If the harvests were lost, the economy of her family —consisting in the work of her two sons and husband—, would be seriously affected. In the village, work is scarce and while the youngest members travel to the municipal capital in search of opportunities, the adult men work as day laborers.

“My husband earns Q40 a day”, and she added: “Therefore, acquiring a quintal of corn —which costs between Q350 and Q400—, means 10 days of work.”

Josefina, her aunt, was just a few steps from us. Her situation is even more complicated, as she has eight children, with the youngest barely being a month old. Her family, in addition to receiving the food kit, received two kits for underweight girls and boys.

About the project

The project entitled A Response to the “Food Insecurity in Guatemala” is an initiative that responds to the alert issued by CARE Guatemala due to the worsening of the food insecurity situation in the country, and to which the Start Network responds with the Start Fund.

This worsening of the food insecurity situation occurred due to an accumulation of crop losses, which was originated by concurrent droughts, but that has been recently caused by the effects of the rainy season, and the increasing prices of food, agricultural inputs, and fossil fuels. All of these factors have caused a greater vulnerability, especially for families in rural communities, and with an emphasis on indigenous families of the Q’eqchi’ and K’iche’ groups living in the departments of Alta Verapaz and Quiché.

CARE Guatemala helps these communities through the distribution of food and nutritional kits, so they can face the current emergency crisis of food insecurity.