San Juan Comalapa, Chimaltenango. January 23, 2015. Today, FEMSA Foundation, through Coca-Cola FEMSA and in collaboration with CARE, launched the initiative “Being Healthy.” This project has the objective of promoting healthy lifestyles through a comprehensive strategy of behavioral change, thus contributing to the reduction of malnutrition in two locations whose conditions merit priority attention: San Martín Jilotepeque and San Juan Comalapa.
According to 2008’s Third National Census on Growth among first grade students, San Martín Jilotepeque is in a High Nutritional Vulnerability classification with a 46.9% delay in size and San Juan Comalapa places in a range of Very High Nutritional Vulnerability with a 65.1% stunted growth. This relates to the conditions of nutritional insecurity and poverty that for both municipalities have endured for years and which have specially affected children of these communities.
Guatemala suffers from a nutritional transition, where malnutrition and overweight issues are present simultaneously. An effective nutritional education addresses both issues and is the core assignment of the program “Being Healthy,” which foresees the promotion of healthy nutritional practices for a year with ludic workshops and recreational activities such as theater or painting in order to incentivize behavioral change among children and teenagers.
The launching of the Being Healthy Project took place before representatives of all ages from the counties that the program will serve. During the event, Ms. Eva Fernández, Manager of Strategic Alliances and Healthy Lifestyle of FEMSA Foundation, stated, “FEMSA Foundation and Coca-Cola FEMSA find great value in working together with allies of the importance of CARE. We share the notion that nutritional education can improve the health of people by providing them with the tools to make better decisions in regards to nutrition and family care.”
Ada Zambrano, Director of CARE Guatemala said that “the promotion of nutritional health is an important development action for ensuring benefits in people during their lifetimes; we achieve this by adding actors and resources for programs that are particular and sensible towards nutrition.”
The “Being Healthy” Project looks for 4,310 children and 100 teenagers from 12 communities to adopt best practices of nutrition.
Ms. Griselda González Navichoc, Director of External Cooperation at SESAN; Mr. Romulo Xicay from the Ministry of Education; P.C. Otto Vielman, Mayor of San Martín Jilotepeque, and Mr. Valeriano Pichiya, Mayor of San Juan Comalapa were present at the Project’s launching.
The organizations participating in the project closed the kick-off event for Being Healthy with a show and words of appreciation.
About FEMSA Foundation
FEMSA Foundation is a social investment instrument that supports both the conservation and sustainable use of water and the improvement of the quality of life of the community with the application of education, science, and technology. Its department of Sustainable Development of Hydric Resources channels resources to projects that focus on protecting water sources and promoting their adequate use as well as on sanitation and hygiene practices, not only for the present but for future generations too. It consists of three programs: Watershed Conservation, Water and Sanitation, and Building Capacities and Applied Research. In addition, the department of Healthy Lifestyles focuses on supporting projects looking to improve the nutrition and health of the population of our communities. Its programs are Nutritional Education and Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles, and Building Capacities and Applied Research.
About Coca-Cola FEMSA
Coca-Cola FEMSA is part of Fomento Económico Mexicano S.A. (FEMSA) and is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world.
Coca-Cola FEMSA manufactures one in ten Coca-Cola products consumed throughout the world, thanks to the company having the rights to prepare, bottle, distribute, and sell beverages of The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola FEMSA Central America has operations in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. It is also present in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and the Philippines. Its mission is to satisfy and please the consumer of beverages through excellence. Its portfolio consists of brands such as Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Fresca, Shangri-La Water, Hi-C Juice, Powerade, and Fuze Tea.
Care is an international organization working in Guatemala for the past 55 years. In Guatemala, Care looks to contribute to the eradication of poverty and social and gender inequality. One of its priority development programs is “Livelihood and Nutritional Safety” which contributes to the nutritional safety of the rural, poor, and indigenous population.