Municipality, IUCN and Other Organizations Hold “First Environmental Fair on Water, Environment, Health and Food Security,” in San Antonio Sacatepéquez, San Marcos
San Marcos, Guatemala, July 2012 (IUCN). More than 1,300 personas participated in the First Municipal Water, Environment, Health and Food Security Fair on July 12 and 13, in San Antonio Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, including students of primary and secondary schools and institutes, representatives of local communities and members of the microwatershed council in the San Antonio region of Alto Naranjo River.
The activity is one of several the municipality is coordinating with other organizations to raise awareness about the importance of caring for natural resources and good hygiene habits, and to create a culture of healthy food aimed at reducing child malnutrition rates.
Organization and funding for the activity was provided by the San Antonio Sacatepéquez municipality, the Protected Areas and Environment Department (Departamento de Áreas Protegidas y Medio Ambiente-DAPMA), the municipal water department (Departamento de Agua Municipal de San Antonio Sac.-DAMSAS), the municipal women’s office (Oficina Municipal de la Mujer-OMM), the IUCN Climate Adaptation Project, CARE, the associated municipalities of the Naranjo River basin (Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Cuenca del Río Naranjo-MANCUERNA), USAID, Helvetas, Instituto de Fomento Municipal (INFOM), the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare (Ministerio de Salud Pública y Asistencia Social-MSPAS), the Secretariat of Food and Nutritional Security (Secretaría de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional-SESAN), Instituto para el Fortalecimiento Municipal MUNI-K’AT, EcoPlanet and Estudios de Cooperación de Occidente (ECO).
Presiding at the fair’s inauguration was Wüilian Fuentes, Mayor of San Antonio Sacatepéquez and President of MANCUERNA, along with representatives of the different organizations supporting the event.
Today all residents of the municipality, department and nation, and all of the planet’s citizens, must now comprehend that the world in which we live is our home and that we are destroying it, which is why we must unite and begin working to restore and conserve our natural resources.”
Wüilian Fuentes, Municipal Mayor
Visitors then made the round of the different thematic modules—Health and Food Security, Water and Sanitation, Watershed Management and Risk Management—to enjoy the games, hear educational talks and use the teaching materials.
Health and Food Security
This module focused on the importance of personal hygiene habits such as washing hands before eating, brushing teeth, and bathing daily in order to prevent disease, especially in children. Delicious samples of recipes using nutritious products like potato and amaranth were on hand.
Water and Sanitation
Here the focus was on the importance of sampling and analyzing drinking water, and disinfection methods such as boiling, chlorination and solar action (SODIS method). A safe water lottery provided tips on disinfecting water for human consumption and personal hygiene.
The concept of watersheds was briefly explained using models and maps to illustrate the importance of conserving natural resources. The module included jigsaw puzzles of microwatersheds, and environmental roulette.
Main concepts in disaster risk management and the need for community organization to prevent and respond to situations of risk.
For more information contact:
Ottoniel Rivera Mazariegos
IUCM Livelihoods and Climate Change Unit for San Marcos, Guatemala
IUCN Regional Office for Mesoamerica and Caribbean Initiative
Tel: 00502-5966-6957 and 00502-5918-0317