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Double your impact on hunger now! Thanks to a generous benefactor and international partners, your donation to Heifer International will be matched dollar-for-dollar during March to support food security, better nutrition and women’s empowerment in Guatemala.

Double your impact for people like Virginia Jimenez Mateo, who knows firsthand how women living in rural areas can become isolated and marginalized. She lives in the remote village of Laguna Verde, Guatemala, with her husband Mauricio and their seven sons.

Virginia Jimenez Mateo, Guatemala Photo by Russell Powell, courtesy of Heifer International

Before joining a Heifer project in 2007, Virginia seldom left her house since women do most of the farm labor and household chores. She rarely had the opportunity to get to know other women in her community apart from church activities. “The only time I left my house was to go to church and back,” she said.

Virginia primarily prepared beans, steamed broccoli or carrots for meals. They had to buy eggs from their neighbors and could only afford meat twice a month. She recalls that 14-year-old Mario had stomach problems.

Since joining the project, she has received training along with 10 chickens in 2007 and a goat in 2011. She especially likes Passing on the Gift®. “It would be hard for me to save enough money to repay a goat, but when mine (kid born on February 14, 2012) is big enough I can pass it on,” she said, having already passed on the gift of chickens in 2008.

Heifer’s training improved life in the community. Training provided opportunities for the local women to get to know each other. “No one can take away the knowledge we received,” she said. Thanks to the gender training, the men have started participating. With more help around the house, Virginia’s family started to thrive.

Edwin Gonzalez Jimenez, Guatemala "Part of the training was teaching my children than they can do anything a woman can do," Virginia said.
Photo by Russell Powell, courtesy of Heifer International

The biggest benefit for her family, Virginia said, was their improved diet and nutrition. They raise their own chickens, so they no longer have to buy eggs and can now afford to buy meat once a week. “Now we have more variety,” she said. She noticed that they aren’t as sick as before. She credits drinking goat’s milk for her improved health and less aches in her joints.

Better nutrition means her sons have more energy to focus on their school work. Miguel, age 19, and Carlos, age 16, received scholarships to attend a Catholic school. “The knowledge and ethics they are receiving are important,” she said.

This kind of impact happens every day in Heifer projects. Stretch your dollar this month and double your impact to help provide the training and livestock needed by families like Virginia’s to help put more food on the table.

To maximize this match, we need to raise at least $831,000 from generous supporters like you.

Click here to donate.

Author

Kim Nixon