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Archives July 2011

Agroamérica trains rural Guatemalan women in pastry arts

Agroamérica trains rural Guatemalan women in pastry arts

Guatemala, July 2011. Agroamérica trained forty women from the community of San Francisco Madre Vieja, Escuintla, in the skills of pastry production in order to teach them a new skill that could be used to start their own home-based businesses.

The group met for five consecutive days in the local public school to receive classes in pastry-making techniques using basic recipes provided by Agroamérica. They were also taught how to construct their own artisanal ovens. These classes were also aimed at raising the women?s self-esteem and to empower them to recognize the economic benefits of using these newly acquired skills to augment their families? incomes through a home-based business.

This program was undertaken in partnership with the Medfly program and the support of community leaders, mothers from the Best Families Program, and the director of the local public school. During the closing ceremony, the participants received diplomas and shared their ?creations? with those in attendance.

The president of the committee of ?monitor mothers? of the San Francisco Madre Vieja chapter of the Best Families Program, Sandra Herrera, thanked Agroamérica for the training course. She also said that she and her classmates were extremely motivated to continue their training and become businesswomen in the community.

Agroamérica organized and contributed to the funding of this training program in the pastry arts as part of its corporate responsibilty program and Better Families Program.

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Agroamérica fumigated the farms, health clinics, and schools in the communities near their operations to prevent diseases carried by vermin and insects

Agroamérica fumigated the farms, health clinics, and schools in the communities near their operations to prevent diseases carried by vermin and insects

Guatemala, July 2011. As part of their Social Responsibility Program, Agroamérica organized a day of fumigation in the communities of Madre Vieja, San Jose Mogollón and Huitzizil, all located in the Department of Escuintla, in addition to Agroamérica farms to prevent diseases caused by insects, mainly mosquitoes, that cause dengue and malaria.

The fumigation was carried out in a way as to reduce any negative impact on the environment. Neighborhood health clinics, community centers, and schools were all treated in coordination with the personnel from the Health Center of Tiquisate.

This activity benefited all the employees of Agroamérica farms and residents of the neighboring communities, including students, families, staff, and patients of health centers who all expressed their appreciation to the company for this help.

Agroamérica is concerned with the health and welfare of its employees and communities surrounding its operations; that is why it organizes activities of this kind to prevent diseases that are common to these areas.

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Agroamerica together with community leaders from the Southwest Tripoint of Guatemala received a visit from the Executive Secretary of the National Coordinator for the Reduction of Disasters (CONRED)

Agroamerica together with community leaders from the Southwest Tripoint of Guatemala received a visit from the Executive Secretary of the National Coordinator for the Reduction of Disasters (CONRED)

Guatemala, July 2011. Alejandro Maldonado, the Executive Secretary of CONRED met in Chiquirines, Ocós, San Marcos with leaders from sixteen communities from Retahuleu, Quetzaltenango and San Marcos, together with representatives from Agroamérica.

The purpose of the meeting was to express the needs of these communities to CONRED?s Executive Secretary. Agroamérica has always been concerned with the well-being of the people who live in the vicinity of its operations and for this reason, they organized the meeting between the community leaders and this important governmental organization to negogiate the help the residents need to prepare for the rainy season.

Agroamérica has become the principal source of aid for twenty-one tripoint communities. They have helped the residents organize a local branch of CONRED to coordinate the relief efforts during disaster situations. They have also financed and organized training workshops with CONRED to teach community leaders how to react in emergency situations. Agroamérica invested $47,500.00 to reconstruct the banks of the Ocosito river to prevent flooding, helped community leaders secure governmental loans to dredge the Pacayá river, and helped obtain emergency relief equipment to prepare for this year?s rainy season which has already begun.

Some of the needs expressed by community leaders include the dredging of the Ocosito, Pacayá, and Naranjo rivers. These rivers overflow their banks every rainy season, flooding the local crops and communities. Other needs include first aid kits, flashlights, and portable and stationary battery-powered radios to be able to communicate when the power goes out. Santos Díaz, a leader from Valle Lirio, expressed his appreciation for the visit from Secretary Maldonado and requested that their petitions be recognized and processed.

“We have been abandoned by the Government; we cannot count on any type of help from them; we are anxiously awaiting a response from them for our request to dredge the local rivers. Agroamérica has become our only source of help.” Nancy Reyes, president of COCODE and deputy mayor of El Pomal commented, “We want to be heard and we want help to find a solution to the problem of the Ocosito riverbanks. Agroamérica has already helped us with the repairs, but we still need help to continue to maintain the integrity of the riverbanks because if this situation is allowed to degrade, it will cause great losses to the surrounding residents.”

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