Puente a la Salud Comunitaria Improves Nutrition and Local Economy in Oaxaca
NGO Receives Clarence H. Moore Award in Voluntary Service

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Puente a la Salud Comunitaria was awarded the Clarence H. Moore Award in Voluntary Service in 2008, a joint award from the Pan American Health and Education Foundation and the Pan American Health Organization, for its indispensible work in promoting food sovereignty while advancing the health and economic assurance for rural communities in Mexico.

Long-term and chronic malnutrition is common for children living in Oaxaca, Mexico. To combat this issue, Puente a la Salud Comunitaria has worked to improve the nutrient level in the local diet by re-introducing a local crop, amaranth. High in protein, calcium, fiber, and iron, amaranth is an ideal source of necessary nutrients and also grows well in Oaxaca's arid climate.

The three-pronged project includes:

The Health Families Project to teach mothers about the importance of incorporating amaranth into their families' daily diet. In 2007 alone, participating women planted more than 650 amaranth home gardens which helped supply food to approximately 3,000 people.

The Training Farmers Project increases substance farmers' income and the supply of nutritional food they produce. To date, the Training Farmers Project has helped over 200 farmers produce approximately 1,500 kilograms of amaranth seeds for commercial sale and self-consumption.

The Training Trainers Project leverages community partnerships and local capacity to encourage planting and consuming of amaranth in rural areas. Community development workers are trained to hold workshops in their communities about the benefits of amaranth.

As a recipient of the prestigious Clarence H. Moore Award in Voluntary Service, Puente a la Salud Comunitaria received a check for $2,500.

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