Agroamerica trained 4,000 community leaders and employees in AIDS prevention

Agroamerica trained 4,000 community leaders and employees in AIDS prevention

Guatemala, April 2012. Agroamerica, together with the Independent Anti-AIDS Committee, delivered 43 AIDS prevention workshops with a focus on family values. More than 4,000 employees from the banana and palm plantations in the departments of Escuintla, Retalhuleu, San Marcos, and Quetzaltenango benefitted from this training.

Over the course of two weeks, two doctors from the Anti-AIDS Committee conducted the workshops at the plantations and packing plants. The doctors emphasized that the best ways to prevent the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus are abstinence and/or marital fidelity. Using a condom is a method of last resort because it is not 100% reliable and does not prevent other diseases.

“The purpose of these workshops is to create a change in the behavior, attitudes and beliefs of our employees by instilling them with the positive values which this company embraces—the final result being an improvement in their quality of life”, said Bernardo Roehrs, corporate director of the company. “As well, we want to help Guatemala meet the Millenium Development Goals; one of them is to combat HIV/AIDS”, stressed the director.

The vast majority of the company’s employees had never before heard of the AIDS virus. Wilson Ajtún, a banana packing plant worker said, “This workshop was excellent; I never knew that AIDS existed. I want to thank Agroamerica for providing us with these educational lectures and, above all, for teaching us how to protect ourselves from this disease. Now, I know how to avoid catching AIDS.”

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