Monday, April 7, 2014

GHU Reflection Series: El Salvador

Last week was all about El Salvador. We talked about food, nutrition, and health in the country as a whole (over delicious Salvadoran candies, courtesy of Reynaldo). Some takeaways compiled from the groups:

Malnutrition group
-We discussed what kind of education about nutrition and health is incorporated into the public school systems in El Salvador. We learn about the food pyramid in grade school: does El Salvador have something similar?
-The World Bank reports a correlation between stunting (low height for age) and maternal education. We thought that this makes sense because if a mother has more education she will be able to get a better job and afford more and better food, and her kids will be more likely to get a good education as well.
-We discussed the double burden in El Salvador of undernutrition and overweight.
Food Security group
-We discussed how GMOs might be beneficial when used properly. For example, certain vitamin deficiencies could be remedied with GMO supplements.
-We read about how the economic stratification in El Salvador opposes food security.
-Projects in previous years at Pastoral have addressed some food security issues through fish ponds, chicken coops, vegetable gardens, etc.
-Pastoral designed and lead workshops in which community members get hands on training in the use of fertilizer to bring back to their communities.
-Because much of the land used for growing food is small in area, Sara talked about how fertilizer can help maximize efficiency despite the small size.
-One of Pastoral's challenges in their community has been the lack of arable land for growing food. 

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