Our work in Guatemala
Several clubs in District 5400 are working together for Global Grant that will continue a sustainable-farming project in Guatemala through our partner non-profit Semilla Nueva(“New Seed” in Spanish).  In 2013, Semilla Nueva began creating Sustainable Agricultural groups and Food Security groups in 5 communities in Guatemala thanks to Rotary.  The overall goal of this project is to create a locally-led, self-sustaining source of agricultural and food security expertise that can function far into the future.
Why Guatemala?
By the numbers, here are some compelling reasons for investing in Guatemala.
    Development: Guatemala has a population of 14.7 million and ranks 131 out of 187 nations in the 2011 United Nations Human Development Index. HDI ranks nations in terms of education, life expectancy and income. 40% of the labor force is employed in the agricultural sector, yet agriculture only accounts for 1/5 of GDP.
    Malnutrition: According to the World Food Program, the chronic under nutrition rate for children under 5 is 49.8 percent, the highest in the region and the fourth highest in the world. Guatemala is one of the 36 countries which account for 90 percent of growth stunting in the world.
   Poverty: The World Bank paints the following picture: 53.7% of the population lives below the poverty line, 13% in extreme poverty, with the second highest measure of income inequality in the world.
    Education: 70% of Guatemalan children attend school, resulting in a mean 4.1 years of formal education per adult, according to the United Nations.
    Environmental Issues: One of the ten countries globally most vulnerable to climate change, according to the World Bank. Guatemala is being rapidly deforested as farmers and ranchers strive to increase their incomes.
Interested in learning more?
If you're interested in learning more about the Global Grant project, you can talk with our global grant committee: George Weissbeck, Janet Worthington or Conrad Colby. Alternatively, you can reach out to Rotarian board members (http://semillanueva.org/about/board-of-directors/). And check out Semilla Nueva’s website (www.semillanueva.org) for details on their work.

Interested in helping?
Here are three ways to get involved:
Help with the Global Grant funding
With the help of many other clubs and individuals through the district, we are working to raise $18,000, which will be matched by district and Rotary International funds to equate to $63,000. We are well on the way to meeting our goal.  We, as individuals, have a great opportunity to have our money matched up to $2.50 on the dollar (depending on available district funds) toward this grant.   To do this, make your donation to the Boise SW Rotary Foundation, Inc. and write “Guatemala Sustainable Farming” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 8092, Boise, Idaho 83707. Terry Bowman will provide you with a receipt for your tax records.
Visit Guatemala
Work trips are coming up. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can see first-hand how Rotary funds are being put to work.  Details at http://semillanueva.org/get-involved/work-trips/
Sponsor a Family
For $20 per month, you can sponsor a farming family in Guatemala, which help sustain the effort to improve these people’s living condition.
The sustainable programs offered by Semilla Nueva teach farming techniques that rebuild soils, improve family nutrition, and generate income. Farmer-to-Farmer education encourages each family farmer to unlock their own innovation through experimentation, analysis and community collaboration, allowing them to grow a new way forward. Your support provides:
~ Seed loans for new crop varieties tested to thrive in Guatemala
~ Ongoing individual technical training with Semilla Nueva agricultural experts
~ Agricultural, nutritional, and economic educational materials and trainings
~ Leadership training and the opportunity to become a Community Promotor
~ Participation in annual farmer-led Community Conferences