Values are redefined as leading equitable access, opportunities and connection to food, humans and earth, and as wealth determinants.
Our essence to redefine values for the future of food, humans, and earth. Based in Guatemala, home of fruits, the pineapple represents bromeliads in Latin America, filled with nutrients and water, and it portrays a V-shape of Values and Vision. The pineapple is wearing a bib, used by babies from their first intake of food. This proposal aims for a transformative habit from the very beginning, re-teaching food in all aspects in appreciating the sense of values first from the basis of life.
Lead Applicant Organization Name
Eat Better Wa'ik
Lead Applicant Organization Type
Small NGO (under 50 employees)
If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.
United Nations agencies in Guatemala, Communicators Association, Private Foundation for Nutrition (Food and Beverage Industry + AgriBusiness), Public Entity for Nutrition, Chefs, Gender and Girls International and Local Organizations, Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, Global Shapers Guatemala City Hub, Community Leaders, Writers and Historians, Technology, Filmmakers.
Website of Legally Registered Entity
How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?
Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?
Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?
Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?
Departments total 74,029km2: A.Verapaz, Chiquimula, Sta.Rosa, Sacatepequez, Escuintla, Xela, Suchitepequez, Huehuetenango, Quiché, Petén
What country is your selected Place located in?
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
We are from Guatemala. A country full of beautiful and hurting contrasts. Sometimes our strengths are also our weaknesses. And often the later weights more. Our culture of indigenous Mayan inheritance, of conquest-feudal-racism inheritance, and the middle ground. In the belief that people were made from corn (Mayan Bible: Popol Vuh). Ranked first with the highest underourishment rates in Latin America (8th worldwide), growing obesity and triple burden of malnutrition, the most unequal country in the region, and ranked last in gender-gap improvements in LATAM. Where people know there is a problem, but don't really grasp it. A misinformation and twisted logic revolves around the population, entrenched in this ecosystem. The chosen 10 departments reflect multiple climates, challenges, and cultural variables within this small country. They were chosen on the basis of their food (in)security, weather, location, future prospects, and growing attention for their food ingredients supply, that in 2050 will be of essence, and the connectivity and infrastructure they have (or lack of). One of the departments is home of the language of which the lead organization of this proposal is named: Eat Better Wa'ik (means "to eat a healthy food" in K'iche' language) aiming to fight malnutrition through innovation in education, economics, agriculture, creative consumption, tech and policy combining food security, climate sustainability and human rights with communication. Also, family origins of the team members come from the departments mentioned. Moreover, the incredible and yet forgotten places in Guatemala are rescued in this proposal, to bring them back life and utility, especially to think forward in 2050 of ways to steer the development of our food system, but their entire dignified livelihood. They are all interconnected but present in so many different variabilities - from languages to traditions - but are all under same patterns of limited resilience. Let’s make it unlimited.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
Petén, the largest department in Guatemala and current widest forest coverage with the Mayan Biosphere (and home to the pyramid dating from 4th century BC and one of the main visitors attraction) has been diminishing for growing deforestation of oil palm. Alta Verapaz (AV), a rainforest heaven, has reported the worst cases of food undernourishment in stunting and wasting, and still lagging after repeatedly suffering during the conflict of gang-rapes and soil extraction from large companies, and augmented organized crime, and home of coffee production. Chiquimula, bordering AV is considered today a Dry Corridor, with arid weather, drought and severe food insecurity where crops have disappeared, mountainous and inaccessible terrains distance population from educational and health services, where cattle farming has been put in place. Quiché, also bordering AV – where road infrastructure has decayed with continuous corruption, while navigating mountainous lands, was severely hit by torched-earth procedures, where a considered genocide was carried-out during the civil war (ending with the 1996 Peace Accords in Guatemala). The red huipil of women (the textiles and clothes indigenous women wear) represents the blood and strength of the people Home of numerous rivers and production of maize, coffee, beans, salt, and where numerous hydroelectric plants have been settled. Huehuetenango, bordering Quiché, follows same patterns of severe food insecurity and crossing for migrants towards Mexico. With the highest mountain terrain in the country, accessibility and climate conditions are stumbling blocks in daily life, and where pollution from great large mining companies have created societal conflict. All the previous departments are bordering, and have the majority of their population from indigenous-origin and living under poverty conditions. Xela (named Quetzaltenango) has he second largest city in Guatemala. It has been growing and even more urbanized, where by 2050, it will be a striving city on the western highlands, especially in technology, entrepreneurship. It is also home of Almolonga, a city characterized by their outstandingly large produce that are traded, and usually believed it is the blessing of Jesus – as strict Evangelical location (faith or pesticides?). Sacatepequez, a department striving for its tourism attraction in Antigua, generates ongoing revenues for the population, and home of coffee. Escuintla and Santa Rosa, large extension of maize and sugar cane on the Pacific Coast are the epitome of nutrition disparities and rising sea level threats. And Suchitepequez between the ocean and Lake Atitlan as a potential driver of balance in the future, as the link between trade, agriculture, technology, with production of dairy, protein, and water management.
What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)
What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
Guatemala is one of the countries that is being affected the hardest by the effects of climate change. Slow and sudden onset disasters bring even more insecurity in job employment as there are less crops, and the ones existing pose threats of diseases. For that the use of pesticides increases intensive land-work degrading even more the soil, which in turns gives naturally less nutrients to produce. Thus, augmented food and livelihood insecurity, pushed by detrimental factors to migrate, and even become climate refugees. The challenges in 2050 will be possible deserts in every sense of the word – emptied rural localities, where their schooling is poor, and severely and chronic malnourished, limiting their physical and cognitive development, and therefore their job opportunities and skills ability, to catch-up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution in full throttle. Weather usually with its usual two season (dry and rainy) will not be surely forecasted to seedling season. Sea level rising in some places in Guatemala will have pushed population inland, rivers will continue to be polluted, and waste (such as plastic and other resides) will still crawl in nature and urban areas. Therefore, possible reliance in big corporations to bring and make readily available manufactured food and processed drinking water would possibly be a diets-radical change. Cleaner energies would be democratized, but could monopolize fuel into greater use of biomass, thus marginalizing land-grown food for human consumption (and possible increase of pesticides or GMO to provide larger yields for a growing population, transporting and mobilizing themselves). Moreover, looking into new sources of food, such as algae and from water origin (with proper handling and sanitation). Culture will be shifting into needed use of technology. Today increasing the use and understanding, and maximizing use of internet for population’s health and education benefits. But also co-living with robots, AR, AI, IoT, Big Data, in places where lack of services exist (like health services, practitioners), and empowering populations in their own independence in the better care of themselves. Re-skilling is imperative now and in 2050 to keep up, but also maintaining and fostering back Mayan-culture on food and earth relation. Purpose and history-backed up goods would have a major impact on trade, and economics will shift as it has been happening on not solely depending on economic GDP, but indicators of human development and those bridging gaps. 3D printing will also enable new food and goods productions, that can displace traditional workers, or work along with non-traditional practices, or even with the trillion tons of waste of accumulated for years, and meat and food created in a lab reducing land use. Policy-makers will have to integrate the representation of the majority of population into building a stronger nation for all, being women and youth, diverse and inclusive.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
Halt! We need to stop for a bit a re-evaluate our real purpose in this life. Is it to make money, to stress, run in desperation of what could unfold? Do you even know the basics of consequentialism and deontology? Why are moral ethic and philosophy a growing distance from the great thinkers of Ancient History? Is it because it is so Ancient, that our post-modern times is so intellectually ignorant towards crucial issues. That trend, is slowly changing given the emergency situation the Anthropocene was have led us to be in. But frightening will only turn us into irritated swaps, and stress, again, from the previous situation. We need to stop for a moment, and critically think what motivates us in advancing and the elements that make us move forward, and live with dignity. First off, corruption goes out of the window as in contradicts everything related to dignity. And not only self-dignity, but millions of lives affected by it to live even less dignified life, without seeking to do so. And even, might lead them into greater exasperation, that the vicious circle of corruption and cero-dignity catches up to them. Reading Dicken’s Oliver Twist, 18th century child labor, exploitation, slavery abuse and hunger, where all on the basis of inhospitable sceneries and refusing the right to food and nutrition a human being deserves, and to live with what are now called dignified “basic needs”. While reading the novel, numerous emotions come to life, and that enables us to act. Not about stress, but sadness, anger, happiness, joy and, as a whole, a sense of ownership, family, and caring love. Understanding that in this world human beings are not alone, in the sense that tree, nature, animals, we all depend in all of them to foster life, it is to better understand what characterizes us, and our capabilities and weaknesses, and find complements in order to all strive. What “humane” means is that solidarity and brightness to think of solutions. But we have done the opposite, and therefore, that is why YOU are seeking these proposals. Our vision believes that we should reset. Start out as if we were babies, where they are dependent on their parents, learn from them, everything. But for them to teach a lasting position to not step-over in order to succeed according to a societal-imposed belief, especially in the financial/economic/goods possession. And most importantly, are within that very beginning phase, to be well nourished for their own development, and the future generations, from womb, lactating and first thousand days. What is it to learn is to appreciate each other, and what we have. It is to have clear information for critical decision-making. The new currency will be purpose, empathy and dignity of humanity. That is entirely the system that will regroup to make this vision work in all areas: therefore food security and climate, economic, policy and technology will be on the true respect of human rights and human effect on the planet.
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
Imagine a world where the value of money is not so, that drives away from blinded richness, corruption and social gap disparities.
Where the true value and wealth is put into the human interaction. That discrimination is not rooted by who have more or less money in economic terms. It’s poverty re-imagined in the value of human empathy, solidarity, collaboration, clear interconnected effects.
Where the term "value of money" goes where people actually deliver core values of humanity and moral behavior. Where we don't necessarily depend on the economical amount that is being earned (and considered low-skill laborers earning less when they are actually very physically-demanding) to buy food, or even the positions of those possessing land, machines, mobile and technological devices, and those who concentrate in generating outputs.
Farmers would have the tools to combine their work in a more dignified way, and have the upper-hand on machine (re-skill to still be in control of their livelihood understanding that machines or technology could take over their jobs). It is to find that balance between human and machine capabilities. That those providing the basis of food to the world, are not the ones eating less or less nutrients.
Where women and girls are educated and equipped, away from violence, early marriages, slavery, and where an equal benefit is understood.
Re-assessing the value of waste into clean energy, organic fertilizers, and empowering communities in shaping their own society at all levels - from politics, policy-making, to daily activities. Beyond resilience, it is to connect what is thought of being so distant, by educating and delivering access to opportunities, with respect, from the moment we are born.
All stakeholders understand the meaning of their decisions. They move beyond short-term yields in their lives, and consider all living things in whichever value chain they are part of, as naturally responsible producers, consumers, leaders and followers.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
More than half of the population in Guatemala has equal and equitable access to nutritious food at all times, and has exited poverty. They use technology to become independent, and women and youth have the abilities and qualities to self-determine their work path, which is highly esteemed and productive, where they develop multi-level solutions to mitigate climate instability and its trickling effects on society, economy, politics, technology and technology. Public administration and corporate industries present ethical values in their policy-making and the not-business-as-usual new model, detangling from coercive means, respect towards the environment, biodiversity, its workers, and population reached. In a nutshell, regenerative peacebuilding and re-teaching the meaning of life and where population as are entitled to steer their decisions wisely with a supply that goes according to the borrowed space called earth we live in. And have unlimited resilience, where they have been preparing for past thirty years into what the world has in store for earthlings.
Predicting the weather, or forecasting in some time in advance will be something of the past. Since by 2050 too many variabilities will be in place in order to plan accordingly for a usually known seedling, crop season.
Petén: Deforestation has stopped, and production of oil palm have become all sustainable. And substituting the growing plans for more hectares of production of palm oil, have diversified into agro-forestry, planting even more fruit-trees, providing nutritious and readily available foods for the inhabitants of the department and others. Forest coverage has increased, as well as interest of tourism and international corporation to pursue the model used in Guatemala for its constant sustainability, and working conditions.
Alta Verapaz: With constant rain, water sources to catch rainfall has enabled populations to recreate clean water systems, reducing parasites and the cultivation of produce that fights diseases (communicable and non-communicable). Moreover, it has become a hub, with improved infrastructure (road and building) to provide the produce in lower time, better quality. Women have scaled in being peacebuilders and to resolve possible conflict because they created an irrigation system that avoids them to bring water back from the river, up the mountains, and have used that time to go to school (primary and secondary) and university, especially focusing in STEM and Public Policy. Alta Verapaz and Quiché share hubs in end of sexual violence, human trafficking, and slavery abuse.
Chiquimula: arid weather would persist, therefore has become a hub for solar and clean energy, produce hydroponics (from the water system created from neighboring Alta Verapaz) and adjusting robotics into usually deserted service providers. Land will be two-fold: planted flora capable of creating shade and to grow without much water (but than can be cultivated for food or drink in order to combat possible diarrhea – like nopal) and also to be used into generating operations employing the already skilled young adults (from 2020 girls and boys) and transforming the entire department into jobs, technology generators, as well as international hub of the current future of food and work.
Quiché: Hydroelectric have in managing positions members of the community where care for the residues from them. They are respecting environmental impact procedures, and employ the inhabitants from the department. Numerous women are leaders in municipality, Congress, and Ministry positions, to restore the lost culinary tradition, providing incentives for smallholder agricultural workers in gender equity, education and nutritious and anti-diseases treatments (using ancestral and food related medicine), along with AI to help strive the comprehension and interaction with food.
Huehuetenango: severe food insecurity has reduced because of accessibility: road infrastructure around the mountains, new elevated transportation with women in the board of directors, education in their own language, and usage of edible flowers, insects into their diets (big trend worldwide). Moreover, a collaboration with bordering state of Mexico, Chiapas, has enabled exchange programs between both to learn and exchange best practices. Huehuetenango also keeps high-potential migrants to develop policies into securing economic stability along with technological advancements in accordance to cultural advancements.
Xela: has become the Hub counterpart of Chiquimula on the other side of the country to provide true Guatemalan (and not necessarily primary focus on Guatemala City) as specific innovation hubs for the country. To the point where true market place or financial decision are taken there, and not in the capital (a sort of New York and Washington DC).
Sacatepequez: still booming with touristic attraction, Antigua, the capital of the department, centers interactivity between foreigners and multiculturality of Guatemala, where fusion of best culinary practices are being introduced. Getting globalization through food right, learning from international foods into supplying nutrient deficit foods. And moreover, a gastronomical astronomical hub of food/chefs or just simply cooking efficiency, as a model to the entire population to dedicate at least a small time for cooking at home.
Escuintla and Santa Rosa: Rising sea levels have consumed most of the Pacific Coast. Population have been pushed back inland, and occupying what where before sugar cane lands. Since the extreme reduction in sugar intake worldwide, industry have been obliged to switch crops and even economic activity. Underneath land used for sugar cane, entire Mayan civilization cities exists, depicting new ways of eating in that same region. Using the real tropics scenario, it is the hub of water-filled produce (from vegetables to fruits), where forests and even coconut palm have boomed, as well as sustainable fishing plantation. It has also become the center for Environment, Land, Water and Food protection, using the know-how of workers and technology to adapt and mitigate climate externalities.
Suchitepequez: it is serving as the connection hub. Usually undermined in the beginning of the 2020 decade, it is the bridge, connector between the Pacific Coast and the world heritage place of Lake Atitlan in Sololá. Serving as the main Pacific Port, Suchitepequez has demonstrated in its small territory of tropical cultivation, mid-land production, and usage of waste generation into energy, fertilizer and plastic replacement (based on what was considered trash). It is the sustainable industry hub, generating what are now considered the jobs of the future.
Creating value in humans is acknowledging the value in each place, and not only centralized in Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala. It is that diversity that make the richness, where people will understand the value of difference, and collaboration towards a greater and mutual purpose. We will be starting this since 2020, where by the time these youngsters or babies reach my age (a little over 30 year old) in 2050, an entire generation will have been shaped – from the moment they are wearing bibs – into exemplary human beings changing the way the world revolved, starting with their local and national communities. Guatemala is the pilot country for this vision to be done. Country of contrasts and contractions, it is the place to enable the contradiction of today’s status quo, into fully dignified outcomes and impact, from the basis of food and it’s new and evolving human-centered and biodiversity-centered system. We create value of the human being, its input, outputs, transforming them into useful elements, that generate life (or nutrition to humans or earth - as soil- , reciprocally), beyond their expected lifetime. Thank you.
We have developed more ways into which we can reach out, from partnering with multiple stakeholders, into speaking and writing about the issue. We invite you to read on further some ideas in order to create this a living possibility from the basis of food, humans and earth:
* Dystopian Food Values and the 4IR (KMPG for WEF19 at Davos with One Young World): https://www.weflive.com/story/de7f6c501efe11e9aed7934b2d047253?fbclid=IwAR0FEbbne6yxeUaus8i1dtDI9cXNbe-Ck9qndeHhj4j9bkFXiNK4NoTRBaw
* Why Responsible Consumption is Everyone's Business (World Economic Forum Agenda Contribution for the Sustainable Impact Summit at UNGA74): https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/09/why-responsible-consumption-is-everyone-s-business/
*The Day in the Life of a Palm Tree (Tropical Forest Alliance Annual Meeting): https://www.tfa2020.org/en/day-life-palm-tree/
*Why November is the Month of Biodiversity (in Spanish): https://nomada.gt/blogs/por-que-noviembre-es-tu-momento-para-adentrarte-en-la-biodiversidad/
*Trust Conference, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 2019 Changemaker: http://www.trustconference.com/changemakers/
*Women changing the we think about food (featuring Bibi): https://www.oneyoungworld.com/blog/world-hunger-day-meet-ambassadors-working-food
How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?
Friends and colleagues motivation to apply (from multiple countries!)