Guatemala News Wrap Up

The ‘Volcán de Fuego’ in Sacatepéquez has continued to show off its colossal eruptive power over the past few weeks, belching out huge quantities of lava and ash and making for some very impressive photos.

Hopefully some good news for hunger and malnutrition in Guatemala – more than 30 organizations met up in June for the Nutrition Solutions Fair in order to share their experiences in their efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition in the country. The Fair marked the initiation of the third phase of the ‘Tengo algo que dar’ initiative, which aims to raise awareness and get more Guatemalans involved in the fight against the scourge of hunger.

June has also seen the 18th Festival de Arte Paiz with the theme of ‘Convivir/Compartir’ (Living Together/Sharing Together). It’s a celebration of art and culture, with a wide range of expositions from national and international artists, as well as workshops, talks and discussions. The National Ballet Theatre Company also dazzled spectators in June during their performance in the Capitol Theatre, their first show there since 1948.

Although Guatemala has already managed to go through a total of 6 constitutions since its independence, it was revealed this month that discussions are underway to make further changes to the country’s Magna Carter, which was first drawn up in 1984.

The mayor of Antigua, has been in trouble this month after the Finance Office accused him of ‘suspicious handling’ of Q28.6 million. Oops.

Future members of the national police force are being put to good work during their training in the capital: 600 of them were sent to the Plaza de la Constitution armed with brooms instead of guns in order to give the square a thorough cleaning up and demonstrate their commitment to community service. Hopefully they’ll be sent out on home visits next.

The government’s agricultural programmes aren’t exactly going to plan – they’ve promised 20,000 farmers fertilizers for their crops this year but as of yet not a single farmer in Peten has received anything. They don’t have long to get their act together – soon it will be too late to apply fertilizers to many of the crops.

Gil Kerlikowske, the US’ anti-drugs tsar, was in Guatemala this month trying to combat drug consumption by visiting primary school children enrolled in the Mis Primeros Pasos (My First Steps) Program, aimed at reducing drug consumption by boosting self-esteem and personal values.  The irony of a US politician lecturing Guatemalan school children on drug consumption when the US alone continues to represent 40% of the worldwide illicit drug market was clearly lost on him

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