Mother Earth or Death - Chronic Malnutrition in Guatemala
80 percent of indigenous children in Guatemala suffer from chronic malnutrition. It is a country with a majority indigenous Mayan population - land ownership, or rather lack thereof, is the key factor in explaining chronic malnutrition in Guatemala.
Guatemala has one of the highest numbers of chronic malnutrition in the world and is worst in Latin America and the Caribbean.
It is a middle-income country but is one of the worlds most unequal. Eight percent of Guatemalan landowners controls 80 percent of all land where coffee, sugarcane, palm oil and rubber tress are grown for export. Since 2000 the amount of chronic malnourished children has increased simultaneously as the growth of the Guatemalan economy. Malnutrition is often not seen on the outside – the majority of children at risk of dying from starvation show no obvious signs of starvation. The life threatening injuries are internal and especially damage the brain.
The children stand on land that is not theirs. On the very fields that are the reason they are chronic malnourished.