Update from Garden’s Edge and Qachuu Aloom in Guatemala

Update from Sarah Montgomery, Director of Garden’s Edge and Qachuu Aloom in Guatemala:

“Olga, a former scholarship student from Qachuu Aloom and another member of Qachuu Aloom, Valentina, stayed with me for a month and attended the traditional medicine class at the University of New Mexico.  It was so neat to watch them share some of their skills with the class and also take home new skills to share in their communities.  They also spent some time in a midwifery clinic, learning how to do intake forms, and keep records of their patients.  Olga, has graduated with a degree in midwifery, and hopefully will continue studying next year in Guatemala.  In Guatemala they are continuing to work on the maternal health and nutrition project, and each year we are seeing better results, as families learn new recipes and improve their gardens.  They also have a new project this year,  of bringing back the traditional milpa systems.  The milpa system is where a diversity of plants were planted together–like corn, beans and squash and then other plants would come up as “weeds” like Amaranth and other medicines.  It has fallen out of use because of the heavy promotion of weed killers and fertilizers in government programs.  So unfortunately, many people have stopped planting this way.  They are not as easy to recuperate as one might think because so many people have lost the traditional corn seeds, and soils are very depleted.  The hybrids do better in that kind of monocrop situation.  So this year, we are hoping to build up a surplus of native corn seeds and next year add more growers. Thank you for helping us grow our work in Guatemala.:

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