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Nurturing the


To improve the nutrition and food security of families living in communities.

Nurturing the Future (NF) is a project financed by Cargill and implemented by CARE in Central America. Its first phase took place from 2013 to 2016 in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The positive results obtained led to the formulation, negotiation, and implementation of a second (from 2016 to 2019) and third phase with a territorial expansion in four countries of Central America: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, which also correspond to Cargill’s priority countries in the region; the fourth phase, on the other hand, is currently being developed in Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

In Central America, the NF project is identified, formulated, and conceptualized within the framework of the Global Partnership between Cargill and CARE.

The NF project in Central America was formulated within the framework of Cargill’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, which has the purpose of “Being a leader in nurturing and developing the communities to which it is applied” and within that framework it identifies the communities as its target audience, prioritizing its intervention through their educational centers. Therefore, a Cargill-CARE Global Theory of Change was developed, and it is integrated by the following pillars:

  • The Target Audience (TA) optimizes the agricultural production in a sustainable manner.
  • The TA interacts with and benefits from the market.
  • The TA has food and nutritional security. 
  • The Communities where the TA lives are developed and well governed.



Indirect participants, including women and men.


producers, women, men, and small businesses.

(62% women) increased the production quantity and quality by adopting best practices of sustainable agricultural production.



They improved their nutritional status through adequate food consumption and diet diversification.


In Central America, food insecurity and poverty are a fundamentally rural phenomenon. Rural poverty is even more present in two groups: small rural producers and indigenous people. In Guatemala, six out of ten people in rural areas live in poverty, and three out of 10 live in total poverty [1]. Although these differences respond to several causes and not exclusively to ethnic traits, it is a fact that there is a gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people. In Guatemala, the malnutrition rate of indigenous children in rural areas can be three to five times higher than that of non-indigenous children.

Due to the lack of opportunities in rural areas, migration to urban and peri-urban areas has been increasing. Over recent decades, this migratory phenomenon has led to a considerable increase in the population in urban and peri-urban areas, with alarming levels of poverty, insecurity, vulnerability, and lack of basic services. Increasing the productivity and income of both rural and urban women is essential to reducing poverty, as women represent a significant portion of the workforce. In the short term, this will improve the health and nutrition of children, and it will also have a positive effect on reducing the severity and incidence of poverty. In the longer term, increasing women’s productivity will have intergenerational effects on the quality of human capital.

The country of Guatemala also has great vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change. However, to contribute to the stability of their nutrition and food security, it is possible to implement actions to help them adapt to those disasters, such as improved agricultural practices and early warning systems; as well as promoting local contingency mechanisms, such as grain banks, rural savings systems, and plans to adapt to climate change at a community level. 

In policy terms, we must continue to increase recognition of food and nutrition education as a key strategy for building partnerships and improving government programs.


To improve the nutrition and food security of families in priority communities in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, by strengthening their skills, and giving them proper opportunities for access and control over productive resources, and inclusive markets; and by facilitating an environment that allows them to fulfill their social and economic rights.


  • The Ministry of Education (MINEDUC).
  • The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food (MAGA).
  • The Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS).
  • Cargill’s volunteering program.
  • Local authorities.
  • Municipal authorities.
  • The Central National School of Agriculture (ENCA).
  • The University of San Carlos of Guatemala (USAC).
  • The Social Work Association of the Dominican Sisters of the Anunciata (Educational Center Francisco Coll). 

Expected results

Expected results:

Empowering women through approaches and tools that help them increase their confidence and skills, and to cope with the challenges they face, including structural barriers to their empowerment.

Access and control over productive resources:

To increase the productivity and income of women, we expect to develop their skills and enhance both their access to information, and their use and control of productive resources.

Incidence and strategic partnerships:

Joint work with municipalities and with sectoral tables of Food and Nutrition Security (FNS), using the Local Economic Development (LED) strategies.

Inclusive markets:

This includes improving women’s access to markets to enhance their food security, and increasing production and its benefits at a low scale. It also promotes the participation of low-scale female producers in joint ventures, and it helps them to get better market results and to make decisions in the field.


The monitoring of the bond growth between education and nutrition as a result of school and family gardens, and the promotion of best practices of food safety, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles, which are obtained by increasing the dietary diversity, and by promoting good hygiene and sustainable environmental practices (such as water management, and access to food through the participation of the school community).



 (2013 2016) Guatemala,
and Nicaragua


(2016 2019) Guatemala,
and Nicaragua


(2019 2022) Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.


(2022 2025) Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica.

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