In 2020, Fundazucar’s social programs focused on the fight against COVID-19

Last year was difficult due to the beginning of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, so the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, through its Sugar Foundation -Fundazucar-, has demonstrated its commitment to Guatemalans.

917 health workers received 3 personal protection kits

Since the beginning of the health emergency, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry focused on supporting the efforts of health workers who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19 and in 2020, through Fundazucar, delivered 2,751 kits for the same number of health service workers on the South of Guatemala.

Ingenios apoyan a trabajadores de salud en la lucha contra COVID-19

The kits included 4 KN95 masks, 2 gowns, 3 pairs of gloves, and 1 face shield. 48 health services of 5 departments of the South of the country were also benefited with alcohol, antibacterial gel and disposable paper towels.

In addition, in coordination with Health Area Directorates, 499 workers from 65 health services were trained on issues of prevention and care against COVID-19.

540 public workers trained to prevent COVID-19 in markets and plazas

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry through their social arm, Fundazucar, joined with the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (AGEXPORT) to train 540 public workers from 25 municipalities with the purpose of supporting them in the implementation of measures to prevent COVID-19 in markets and plazas.

Also, Fundazucar delivered supplies for attention and prevention of COVID-19 to 25 municipalities on the South of Guatemala for visitors of markets and plazas. In total, 7,284 surgical masks and 693 gallons of glycerinated alcohol were donated during the year.

1,080 community leaders trained in social development with an emphasis on COVID-19 prevention

The Communities in Development program of the Sugar Foundation, was adapted to the context of the pandemic. To do this, Fundazucar trained 1,080 community leaders from 143 communities on the South of Guatemala in 7 topics of social development in prevention of COVID-19.

This program promotes community participation through the local Community Development Committees –COCODE- aimed at planning the social and economic development of their communities.

With the advice of Fundazucar, the communities prepared their annual planning, this time the main component was the fight against COVID-19, this as part of a long-term plan for Comprehensive Community Development.

Prevention campaign against COVID-19 on the South of Guatemala

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is still present in the country and to prevent further infections, Fundazucar has carried out a prevention campaign in municipalities on the South of Guatemala.

In 143 communities, posters were placed with the protocols recommended by the Ministry of Health and Social Assistance and with key prevention and mitigation messages were installed in 44 markets and squares of 25 municipalities on the South of Guatemala with the aim of supporting municipal authorities with strategies to minimize infections in their municipalities.

In addition, prevention messages were transmitted through vehicle-mounted loudspeaker in 26 municipalities of the South of Guatemala with the aim of recall community members to continue with the prevention and mitigation measures of COVID-19 and not relax in the face of the increase in cases while continuing with their daily activities.

Green fertilizer for environmental sustainability

Crotalaria flower

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry maintains its commitment to environmental sustainability, so through the Guatemalan Sugarcane Research and Training Center -Cengicaña-, have implemented the green fertilizer program.

Green fertilizer is part of the healthy soil program that some sugar mills have. This ecological measure consists of planting legumes that provide nitrogen to the soil reducing the use of commercial products.

In addition, it integrates crop rotation, intercropping, pest management, and soil conservation and nutrition in an environmentally friendly way.

Legumes and crop rotation

Legumes at Ingenio La Union
Photo courtesy of: Ingenio La Union

The cultivation of legumes as green fertilizer is a frequent practice in agriculture, in the case of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry crotalaria, a legume that produces a yellow flower, is used. Crotalaria is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family Fabaceae (subfamily Faboideae) commonly known as rattlepods.

Sugarcane cultivation is renewed every 5 years to maintain its yield and in the ideal areas, this renewal is used to nourish the soil with leguminous plants which grow and remain in the field between 6 and 8 months. Approximately 3 thousand hectares have been planted with crotalaria.

Legumes incorporate organic matter into the soil that provides nutrients, mainly nitrogen, one of the most important for plants and that will be used by subsequent crops.

Soil conservation and pest management

Legumes are the only group of plants that can capture nitrogen from the air and incorporate it into their organism. When they are mixed with the soil, they contribute organic matter that improves the texture and structure of the soil. In addition, it promotes the proliferation of microorganisms that are beneficial for crops.

Crop rotation also helps in pest control because, by exchanging the cane for legumes, the life cycle of the insects that feed on the sugar cane is broken.

All these good practices are promoted by Cengicaña with the aim of integrally using biological elements that are sustainable with the environment for the cultivation of sugar cane.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry continues its support for the mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry supports health workers against pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continues and the Guatemalan Sugar Industry through their Sugar Foundation -Fundazucar- maintains its support to health workers, and this week 917 personal protection kits were delivered in the South of the country, consisting of: 4 masks KN95, 2 gowns, 3 pairs of gloves and 1 face shield, for the same number of health workers.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry supports health workers against COVID-19

To support the health care of people who attend consultations, the sugar mills also donated 96 gallons of antibacterial gel soap, 96 gallons of alcohol and 65 boxes of disposable paper towels to 65 health services of 5 departments from the South of Guatemala.

Likewise, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry donated 442 gallons of alcohol to 26 municipalities.

Since the beginning of the health emergency, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry focused on supporting the efforts of health workers who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19 and, in 2020, through Fundazucar, the sugar mills delivered 2,751 kits for health workers.

Antibacterial gel soap, disposable paper towels and alcohol were also donated to 48 health services on the South of the country.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry supports health workers against COVID-19

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry has planted 5.9 million trees to recover forests

Guatemalan Sugar Industry Reforestation Program

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry has planted 5.9 million trees from 2011 to date, as part of their reforestation plan in areas such as riverbanks and the upper part of the hydrographic basins, to improve the river’s water recharge capacity, and to transform the areas into biological corridors and also to contribute to the recovery and conservation of flora and fauna.

Guatemalan Sugar Industry Reforestation program

The Reforestation Program, implemented by the Sugar Mills through the Private Institute for Climate Change Research -ICC-, has among its priorities the recovery and conservation of the hydrographic basins of the rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean, in the face of climate change.

The program, in addition to recovering wetlands, water sources and riverbanks, has a factor of community involvement and support, since all the trees come from over a hundred local nurseries managed by the communities.

Guatemalan Sugar Industry Reforestation Program

In 2020 the Guatemalan Sugar Industry planted more than 818,000 trees, and in each region, native species are planted for conservation, energy and timber purposes, among them the species, Matilisguate, Puntero, Volador, Cedar, Mahogany, Palo Blanco, Mother Cacao and Plumillo.

The forest coverage study of the National Institute of Forests (INAB, 2019) reveals that between 2010 and 2016 forest coverage increased in the departments of the south of Guatemala in 37,857 hectares, equivalent to more than 25,800 soccer fields.

Crusade for Nutrition in Guatemala reached more than 9,900 children with the assistance of the Sugar Foundation

Great National Crusade for Nutrition in the South Cost

The Sugar Foundation -Fundazucar- supported the Great National Crusade for Nutrition in Guatemala after signing an alliance with the Secretariat of Food and Nutrition Security of Guatemala -Sesan- and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance -MSPAS-, in which more than 9 thousand children were tested to detect cases of malnutrition.

This strategic alliance made possible the detection of cases of acute malnutrition in boys and girls; and to achieve so, Fundazucar formed brigades to search for such cases in four departments of the South of Guatemala between August and December 2020.

Fundazucar’s brigades reached 112 communities located in 16 municipalities on the South of Guatemala where they tested 9,919 children for signs of malnutrition.

Great National Crusade for Nutrition in the South Cost

After the tests, 65 cases of children with acute malnutrition were detected, their mothers received a food plan through a nutritionist, counseling, and the children are now under the surveillance of the Government Ministry of Health, with weight and height monitoring.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is recognized for its commitment to disaster reduction

The recognition of Resilient Company to the Guatemalan Sugar Industry

The Coordination Center for the Prevention of Disasters in Central America and the Dominican Republic -Cepredenac- presented the recognition of Resilient Company to the Guatemalan Sugar Industry.

The award recognizes the valuable contribution of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry in incorporating integral risk management to promote sustainable economic development and the construction of a more resilient Central America.

The recognition was received by Luis Miguel Paiz, General Manager of the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association -Asazgua- who thanked on behalf of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry and added that “the 11 sugar mills that make up the Guatemalan Sugar Industry are aware that we have to prevent and anticipate any disaster, not to be reactive but rather focus on disaster prevention internally and towards communities”.

Organization for resilience

In recent years, Asazgua and the sugar mills have developed Public-Private Partnerships to address different problems on the South Coast of Guatemala, among which the Technical Risk Management Table (Public-Private Alliance) and Water Users´ Meetings can be highlighted, as well as the implementation of the Protocol for the Attention of Emergencies of the Sugar Industry.

In addition, during the last 10 years, Asazgua has received technical / scientific accompaniment and studies generated by the Private Institute for Climate Change Research –ICC. This has help the sugar mills to be aware of their main risks and threats related to the environment. Thanks to this contribution has allowed each company to develop its own actions to reduce its vulnerabilities, and sometimes with joint projects to reduce costs and have greater impacts.

Preparation and execution of the response

Through the different institutions that make up the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, community and family organization has been promoted for emergency care, achieving the formation of Local, Municipal and Departmental Coordinators for Disaster Reduction.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry has protocols and procedures for responding to emergencies of both natural and sanitary origin.

In recent years, individual drills have been promoted, where each institution that makes up the Sugar Industry develops and evaluates their exercises, applying the provisions of their Occupational Safety protocols.

The Social Programs of the Sugar Foundation were certified and accredited

The Social Programs of the Sugar Foundation were certified and accredited

The Social Programs, implemented by the Sugar Foundation of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry were certified and accredited for a period of five years by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education. The programs are aligned with the SDG´s of the United Nations.

These programs have been translated in more than 532,000 women empowered and trained in food security and development for their family and community; 26,837 youngsters empowered, since 2015, to be leaders and responsible citizens; 10,500 teachers from the South of Guatemala trained annually, benefiting more than 300,000 students; 5,390 community leaders have participated in the formulation and monitoring of 406 Comprehensive Community Development Plans that have benefited hundreds of residents of communities on the South Coast of Guatemala, during 19 years; 2,529 women and 1,612 municipal employees have been trained with this program between 2016 and 2018.

This success has made companies and organizations hire these services to implement them in areas of their interest, with which the work of Corporate Social Responsibility multiplies, for more information on how to be a Social Investor visit: http://www.fundazucar.org/programs?lang=en

The programs

The name of the programs are: Generation 15-30, Better families, Procaps and Pedagogical Coaching, Health comes first, Better communities, Participatory Municipal Development y Communities in development. These certifications and accreditations ensure educational quality of the social programs according to the standards of the Government of Guatemala through the Ministry of Education.

Social Programs of the Sugar Foundation were certified and accredited

The now certified and accredited programs are focused on 65 municipalities and are aligned with public policies. The main objective of these is local development promoting citizen participation and strengthening local authorities.

The main actors are the same citizens, young people, women, teachers, health workers, community leaders and municipal authorities who, through the programs, are contributing to the well-being of their community.

Given the global and national scenario of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Foundation adapted social programs according to the needs posed by the health emergency. This has made it possible to reinforce the development strategy that has been executed in line with local public policies.

However, due to the positive results of the programs, they continue through individuals and / or companies that have made the decision to replicate the Fundazucar Programs with their own resources in the geographic areas of their interest, who are called “Social investors”. If there is interest in replicating the model, you can contact the Sugar Foundation at +502 22158000 for more information.

Social Programs of the Sugar Foundation were certified and accredited

Since 1990, Fundazucar has promoted programs with a model of social investment where citizens themselves manage their resources for the benefit and development of their community.

Guatemalan Sugar Foundation began Municipal Management training including mitigation against COVID-19

Fundazucar's Municipal management training

The Sugar Foundation -Fundazucar- and the School of Government inaugurated on December the Municipal Management training aimed at 50 municipal public officials, to strengthen their competencies and technical and administrative skills to face effectively, efficiently, and successfully the challenges of public and political management for the continuous improvement of the economic indicators of the South of Guatemala, and to help the fight against COVID-19 Pandemic.

During the inauguration Alfredo Vila, president of the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association -Asazgua-, mentioned that it was a pride to inaugurate this training that is so important for the growth of the participants’ communities, emphasizing that municipal development is fundamental for Guatemala.

The training will be held by the School of Government with the support of Fundazucar and began on December 4th, 2020 and will end on August 13th, 2021. In 30 sessions of 2 hours each, the following topics will be addressed: Mitigation measures against COVID-19; Municipal management, inspection, transparency, and accountability; Municipal planning and management for results; and Attractive municipalities for investment.

Fundazucar's municipal management training

Municipal Management training is part of the Thematic Component for the Sustainability of Governance of Fundazucar, which promotes the strengthening of local institutions such as the Municipal Corporation. The coverage of this intervention reaches 26 municipalities and approximately 900 municipal workers are trained, from different administrative and technical areas of the Municipal Corporation.

In his speech, Luis Miguel Paiz, general manager of Asazgua, stressed that “for the Guatemalan Sugar Industry it is important to strengthen local institutions and that is why we believe that this type of training can help us to collaborate with Guatemala’s development”.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry joins the Alliance for Water

Alliance for Water

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is committed to the care and conservation of the environment. That is why, through the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association -Asazgua-, joined the Alliance for Water in Guatemala.

Water is an essential resource for human life, as well as for agricultural and industrial processes. The Guatemalan Sugar Industry has joined the Alliance for Water with the aim of supporting the construction of a national scenario that promotes the integral management of water resources.

The Alliance for Water is a work platform that seeks to contribute to water security, promoting dialogue and joint participation of different actors and sectors of the country, consolidating a common agenda in favor of better water management.

The Alliance was constituted in its beginnings by five institutions: The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the University of the Valley of Guatemala (UVG), the Private Institute for Climate Change Research (ICC) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The lines of action of the alliance are:

  • Good governance of water resources
  • Public policy for sustainable water management
  • Research and information
  • Awareness and training
  • Financial mechanisms

In this way, the desired objective of building and implementing a national agenda around water can be achieved, making it a source of well-being, health, progress, and peace for each inhabitant of Guatemala.

Engineer Edwin Delgado receives the Order of Sugar of Merit

Engineer Edwin Delgado receives the Order of Sugar of Merit

The Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association –Asazgua- delivered on November Wednesday 18th the “Order of Sugar of Merit” to Engineer Edwin Delgado, a professional, who in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, made the proposal and later used his ingenuity and knowledge to design and build the first intensive care mechanical respirator created in Central America, with the purpose of saving many lives.

The Order of Sugar of Merit is an award that recognizes illustrious Guatemalans who with their ingenuity, commitment and dedication stand out and contribute to the well-being and development of Guatemala.

Throughout the history of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, brilliant and visionary minds have stood out, who with innovation have promoted the growth and development of Guatemala and the sector.

Engineer Delgado received the Order of Sugar of Merit accompanied by his wife Renata Fernandez, with whom he is recognized as a man and a professional, passionate and committed to the health and life of Guatemalans and who with his work contributes to the welfare and development of the country.

“We are very proud that this mechanical respirator was born in the heart of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry. We are honored to present this day the Order of Sugar of Merit to Engineer Edwin Delgado, who led this important project for Guatemala”, said the president of Asazgua, Alfredo Vila.

About Engineer Edwin Delgado

 

Engineer Edwin Delgado

Edwin Orlando Delgado Catalan is originally from the department of Quiche, Guatemala. He graduated as an Electronic Engineer from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala and continued his postgraduate studies in Network Management at the Francisco Marroquin University. In addition, he has a master’s degree in Business Administration from INCAE and Automation studies from Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico.

He has 35 years of experience at La Union Sugar Mill, where he works as Superintendent of Automation and Industrial Development. During his career, he has developed complex automation systems to increase the efficiency of the different production processes, contributing to the Guatemalan Sugar Industry.

Joaquin 1.0, pride of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry

When the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic began, Eng. Delgado, along with other experts, decided to take on the challenge of creating respirators to save Guatemalans lives. In March, with the approval and support of the directors of La Union Sugar Mill, the project began, which consisted of the design, development and creation of the first mechanical respirator for intensive care produced in Guatemala that would be called: Joaquin 1.0.

For this task, a group of professionals from the La Union Sugar Mill and from other sugar mills were brought together to created parts, developed software and developed electronic systems. Doctors and pulmonologists also participated in this process, who contributed with their experience and knowledge in this type of apparatus.

Engineer Edwin Delgado receives the Order of Sugar of Merit

“For me it is a great pride and from today it is a real treasure. I am proud to belong to the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, which has always shown that ideas are valuable and provides everything necessary for them to be carried out”, said Delgado, during the award ceremony.

Asazgua will donate 35 Joaquin 1.0 mechanical respirators to the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, which will be financed by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry to save the lives of COVID-19 patients and when the pandemic ends, they will be used by future patients.