Project Details

Beyond the Walls has always funded the projects we have done over the years, and this year is no exception. We have committed to fund and build a Nutrition Center for Potter's House at their new site in Chiquimula. See below for more information on this piece of the visionary project called Oasis that PHA is undertaking in Chiquimula.

All contributions will be matched by a generous donor up to $10,000!

The Oasis

Eight-year-old Gabby should be enjoying life in a third-grade classroom. Instead, she sits at home in a small hut in the sweltering heat of Chiquimula, Guatemala, because she is too weak to go to school. Her arms and legs are wasted, and she has bald patches where shiny black tresses should be.

Beyond the Walls, a New Jersey-based nonprofit, partners with Potter’s House Association (PHA), a Guatemalan nonprofit, to alleviate poverty-induced suffering among the poor in Guatemala. For 35 years, PHA has served the community of people who rely on the Guatemala City garbage dump for their livelihoods. With the help of organizations like Beyond the Walls and its volunteers, PHA has had great success providing education, housing, and medical care for those scavengers and their families.

Five years ago, Potter’s House bought a large plot of land in Chiquimula a state about four hours east of Guatemala and has committed to replicating the success it has had in Guatemala City. But the challenges faced by the poor in Chiquimula, where the economy is primarily agricultural, are very different from those in the capital.

Chiquimula is located in the Dry Corridor of Central America, a 1,600-kilometer strip of land that runs from Southern Mexico to Costa Rica, and since 2015 recurrent droughts have caused severe water shortages, killing livestock and destroying the crops people rely on for the well- being of their families. More than 3 million residents of Guatemala, who once counted on three scant meals a day have been forced to cut back to a single meal to survive.

Children who once set off to school with a couple of tortillas a cup of coffee in their stomachs now leave hungry, forced to wait until later in the day for perhaps a single tortilla and a pinch of salt—the caloric equivalent of a bite of a croissant.

The effect has been staggering, leading to malnutrition in 46.5% of children under age 5—the highest rate in Latin America and one of the highest in the world. Children whose growth is stunted at such an early age often have compromised immune systems that make them prone to chronic and severe diseases for their entire lives.

Project Photos

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Project Summary/Files

Nutrition Center.pdf

Nutrition Center.pdf

Oasis Plot Plan.pdf