Child Nutrition in Colombia and Guatemala

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The Costa Foundation is keen to ensure that children have a decent and healthy education (you can’t educate a dying child). We therefore insist that fresh drinking water is always available at our schools along with adequate sanitation. 

Sometimes however, Mother Nature catches us by surprise in the form of famine, drought or flood. We have invested in flood retaining walls in Las Brisas School in Yupiltepeque, Guatemala and have always built seismically sound schools in areas prone to earthquakes. However, sometimes it’s drought or famine that has adversely affected some of our schools in both Colombia and Guatemala.

In July 2009, Yupiltepeque Region in Guatemala suffered from the worst drought in living memory which resulted in the children we’d build schools for having little or no food to eat during their lesson time. We had built three schools in this region at the time of the drought: 

  1. Las Brisas School
  2. El Sillon School
  3. Pueblo Viejo School

With the support of the Complete Coffee Foundation; we invested sufficient funds to purchase a plot of land and provided tools, seedlings and irrigation pipes so that the children and their parents could grow sustenance crops and we ensured that every child was weighed and measured and provided with a nourishing drink at breakfast and lunch times until such times as the crops grown could be used for school lunches. 

Vegetable garden in Colombia

The project has been so successful that the schools have now built “Tuck Shops” on the premises and sell surplus crops to parents as an income-generating exercise.  

This programme has also been carried out in Anatoli School, La Mesa Colombia and La Esperanza School, Vergara, Colombia. In both of these schools, ten year old children are voted by their fellow students as “Team Leaders” for either the fish farm, chicken farm, vegetable farm or mini coffee plantation. They work with adults on the farm and are responsible for harvesting crops and meat for school lunches.

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