Guatemala has the highest level of chronic malnutrition in the Western Hemisphere. These problems of food security and nutrition are particularly severe in the country’s Western Highlands where poverty rates are as high as 80 percent in some Departments.
It is in this context that Fundación CAPAZ (Capacitación en Producción Agropecuaria para la Zona, in Spanish) provides training and support to help individuals and communities sustainably improve their nutritional resources. A non-profit based in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, CAPAZ focuses on how breeding and raising farm animals can provide nutritional and economic independence.
One cause of malnutrition in Guatemala is the reliance on a very small number of carbohydrate rich foods. Augmenting this diet with even small amounts of animal protein can provide much needed vitamins, minerals, and proteins thereby averting basic health problems.
Although many people living in rural communities have farm animals, they do not possess the expertise to effectively raise their livestock. Typical problems include a lack of basic knowledge on how to prevent and cure common animal illnesses, what an appropriate diet is for livestock, and how to effectively breed animals. For the most part, these basic problems are not difficult or expensive to solve with proper training.
For 15 years, CAPAZ has been providing training on both the theoritical and practical aspects of successfully and sustainably raising farm livestock. Through the vehicle of animal husbandry, CAPAZ takes a broad based approach to helping individuals build the skills necessary to end the cycle of poverty and malnutrition in Guatemala. By providing training in areas as diverse as animal care techniques, business planning, organizational strengthening, sustainable environmental practices, and incorporating appropriate technology, CAPAZ provides all the skills for Guatemala’s marginalized rural populations to improve their self-reliance and standard of living.
CAPAZ’s mission is to train Guatemalans in rural communities to successfully and sustainably raise livestock in order to improve their standard of living, strengthen their communities, and improve their economic and nutritional independence.
Building on its 15 years of experience, CAPAZ’s vision is that within 5 years it will become recognized as the preeminent community development livestock training organization for farmers and rural communities in the northern, western, and southern regions of Guatemala.