Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala Page: 81
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in export agriculture. As a consequence of deforestation, rainfall
patterns have been interrupted (Johnston and Selby 1978), causing not
only ecological uncertainty, but disruption in the sociocultural system
because of environmentally forced migration into the cities. This
uncertainty in the ecological or environmental conditions further re-
sults in the underproduction of food.
Population pressures have also intensified. Dombrowski et al.
(1970) note that the mortality rate in Guatemala has dropped sigLlifi-
cantly over the last 3G years, from a mortality rate in 1950 of 2 per-
cent, to 1.68 percent in 1965 and, presently to about 1.4 percent.
Add to this the increasing birth rate (3.6 percent in 1973) and it
becomes evident that there is significant stress on the resources from
Most of these traditional Mesoamerican villages tend to be very
unhealthy places in which to live, with relatively non-existent sani-
tation facilities. The major result of poor sanit-tion is disease,
which operates synergistically with malnutrition, creating a very
poor quality of life.
The end result of these stresses or pressures is a very poor
state of health and nutrition. Selby and Garretson (1981) also note
that cultural factors, too, are very important in determining the
nutritional state of an individual or population. For example, they
state (336): "Ethnographic studies of Mesoamerican families have
shown that food is diverted to those members who contribute most to
its economic state and away from the noncontributors (children)."
Ethnographic data from Patzite, El Quiche, Guatemala support this
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Rodeheaver, Daniel Gilbert, 1954-; Bates, Frederick L. & Murphy, Arthur D. Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala, report, May 1982; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84342/m1/94/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.