A prolonged drought has devastated crops and left families with little food and no means of making a living.
While there have been droughts before, the current drought has been made much worse by several years of the El Niño weather cycle. This has led to longer and more frequent dry spells, and erratic rains that are more likely to flood than nurture crops.
Families are doing everything they can to hold on — cutting the number and size of the meals they eat, borrowing money from loan sharks, selling off the precious few assets they have, even travelling massive distances to look for work. They are trying to stay strong in the face of immense hardship.
Josefa (pictured left) tells us that because there hasn’t been much rain, food and water have become much harder to come by. As a result, Josefa’s husband Lucas now travels outside of their community to find work, while she travels two and a half hours every day to collect water for her family.
Josefa (pictured below) tells us that because there hasn’t been much rain, food and water have become much harder to come by. As a result, Josefa’s husband Lucas now travels outside of their community to find work, while she travels two and a half hours every day to collect water for her family.
In Guatemala, climate change is not just a threat. It’s real. It’s happening now and its impact is devastating.
The climate emergency has hit farming communities along Guatemala’s Dry Corridor, in a sudden and intense way.
Temperatures are getting hotter. Rains come way too late or not at all. Harvests have shrivelled. Seasonal jobs have dried up. Food shortages have reached crisis levels.
Poor families, who rely on rain to grow enough beans and maize to eat, are struggling. They have no food, no work and no money.
Since 2015, changes in rainfall patterns have caused crop losses of around 80%, leaving more than 1.3 million people without enough food to eat each day.
Guatemala is consistently listed among the world’s 10 most vulnerable nations to the effects of climate change. The situation is critical.
Together, we can provide immediate and longer term support for families facing an unprecedented food crisis.
We can provide access to emergency nutrition to help children facing chronic malnutrition that significantly impacts their health, education and long-term futures.
We can provide immediate financial assistance to the most hard-hit families so they can afford their most basic needs, without having to sell the animals or tools they rely on for farming.
We can help families grow a healthy harvest by providing drought-resistant seeds and teaching them new ways to save water and grow crops during the climate emergency.
“We are actually really worried, especially for the kids because they are the ones that suffer this the most... if they don’t eat properly, they start losing weight and they can suffer from malnutrition.” — Lucus
In Guatemala, climate change is not
just a threat. It's real. It’s happening now
and its impact is devastating.
All photos: Pablo Tosco / Oxfam Intermón
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