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NAME OF PROJECT: Niños Chispuditos in the Casas del Niño

LOCATION: Ciudad de Guatemala

In the center of Guatemala City, six daycare centers managed by the Sociedad Protectora del Niño take care of very poor children from birth to ~7 seven years of age. During the weekdays these nurseries provide an opportunity for their parents to work and leave their children in a safe environment where their nutrition and education/early stimulation needs will be taken care of. About 1,500 children in these nurseries have been receiving Chispuditos since 2013 on a daily basis.

Since the children have been receiving Chispuditos there have been significant improvements in growth and blood hemoglobin concentrations (an indication of nutritional status) and the number of children suffering from anemia has been dramatically reduced. There is consensus among nutrition caretakers in the nurseries that since Chispuditos has been provided the children are healthier and smarter.

NAME OF PROJECT: Niños Chispuditos (Smart children) in the Guatemala City Municipal Nurseries

LOCATION: Ciudad de Guatemala

The Guatemala City Municipal Nurseries consist of eight daycare centers that provide weekday services to children of working parents and are located throughout Guatemala City in some of the poorest areas of the city. The Guatemala City Municipal Nurseries serve about 1,500 children and provide comprehensive and age appropriate education that includes activities in early stimulation, school readiness, psychomotor development and academic skills.

A very important component of the nurseries is the nutritional program, where children receive a full lunch, and healthy snacks including M+ micronutrients they need to survive and thrive. Since February of 2010, when Chispuditos and M+ was introduced, the nursery personnel (nannies, teachers, school directors and kitchen staff) have witnessed a dramatic improvement in the nutritional and health status of children that attend the nurseries.

The proportion of children with anemia has dramatically decreased, hemoglobin concentrations have improved, linear growth has increased, and common childhood illnesses (respiratory tract infections and diarrhea) in the children have declined. Additionally, nannies and teachers note that children are more attentive in the classes, more active, and have an increased appetite. The school director noted that the gowns that they purchase for graduation from the school have increased in size because children are much taller than they were before.

We are currently following a cohort of graduates from the nurseries with the primary purpose of evaluating whether our integrated approach with nutrition and early learning results in long-term, positive effects in cognitive development, nutritional status, academic performance and language skills.


NAME OF PROJECT: Nourishing the Future of Santa Cruz Muluá (Nutriendo el Futuro de Santa Cruz Muluá)

LOCATION: Department of Retalhuleu

In close collaboration with APEVIHS, the local mayor and the financial support of The Tilloston Guatemala Fund, we are currently starting our second year of a community-based distribution program, where female community leaders are being empowered to deliver a responsive feeding, parenting and early learning intervention coupled to a micronutrient intervention of Chispuditos in children from 6 months to 6 years of age.

With great joy, only after 6 months of receiving Chispuditos, we were surprised and happy to see that the number of children that had anemia at the beginning of the program decreased by 36.7%. of those children who still had anemia, many of them experienced an improvement in anemia and are now classified as “mild” as opposed to “moderate” showing a percent decrease from moderate to mild anemia of 74.4%.

“I loved the methodology of this project,
the project provides an excellent opportunity for
women to spend some time together and get distracted,
and Chispuditos has been well received by the
community. Congratulations and let’s keep going!”

– Helen, representative of the Tillotson Guatemala Fund

NAME OF PROJECT: MIEL ((Mejorando la Inteligencia En La Niñez del Takalik Abaj), Retalhuleu OR Improving Nutrition in Children of the Takalik Abaj Region.

LOCATION: Department of Retalhuleu

In March 2015 a double blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial began in 14 communities in Retalhuleu, Guatemala where more than 800 infants and toddlers received Chispuditos® (atol fortified with M+ micronutrients) along with a parenting and responsive feeding intervention. This project is a collaborative effort between a local NGO APEVIHS (Asociación para la Prevención y Estudio del VIH/Sida), Nuevo San Carlos municipal government, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science of the New York Academy of Sciences.

The objective was to examine the effects of a micronutrient and early learning/parenting community-based intervention on health, growth and cognitive/socio-emotional development. Results are currently in the process of analysis and interpretation.


NAME OF PROJECT: Niños Chispudos and Idea Global (Smart children and Idea Global)

LOCATION: Departments of Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango

In collaboration with Idea Global ONG, we have started the second year of a comprehensive intervention that encompasses early stimulation and micronutrient supplementation with Chispuditos in children ages 6 months to 6 years with the goal of improving cognitive development and nutritional status of children in a sustainable manner.


NAME OF PROJECT: Nuestros Padrinos Para la Felicidad with Chispuditos

LOCATION: Department of Chimaltenango

Mathile Institute has provided M+ micronutrient supplementation (using Chispuditos as a vehicle) to 500 children from 6 months to 6 years of age since January 2016. Edgar Cotón, a local strong community leader has dedicated his whole life to helping others, with the goal of helping local families to reduce food insecurity and improve nutrition.

The families that live in this challenged community are highly indigenous and very poor (majority live under the poverty line of 3.10 dollars per day) and have long suffered difficulties and lack of resources associated with the consequence of a 36-year civil war.

Furthermore, there are no other organizations currently providing support to this community. The Mathile Institute is also helping build local capacity and providing opportunities for Edgar’s organization to get more established. We are currently seeking contributions to help continuing to feed the children in this community and to develop and strengthen a comprehensive community development and early learning program.


NAME OF PROJECT: Chispuditos and Mission Guatemala

LOCATION: Department of Sololá

A nutrition program with Chispuditos began in April 2015 in collaboration with the non-profit organization Mission Guatemala. The objective of this program is to improve the nutritional status of young children from 6 to 72 months of age who live in three different communities in the department of Sololá, located on the beautiful coast of Lake Atitlán.

This department has one of the highest rates of nutritional stunting in the country, and the population is predominantly indigenous. Mothers and children meet on a monthly basis where they receive Chispuditos and receive education on their child’s nutritional needs and healthcare.

The initial results of this program indicate that there was a 61% reduction in the prevalence of anemia after only 6 months of receiving Chispuditos; similarity, hemoglobin concentrations in the beneficiaries improved significantly.


NAME OF PROJECT: Feeding Futures with Chispuditos – Clínica Daniel Comboni

LOCATION: Mixco, a suburb of Guatemala City

The first community based program of the Mathile Institute in Guatemala, Sister Sarah Mulligan and her medical clinic staff have led efforts since 2010 to provide 160 children each year with M+ micronutrients via Chispuditos, the fortified corn and soy premix. In addition to the nutrition component of the program, children and their mothers have access to healthcare including emphasis on maternal and child disease prevention and nutrition health promotion.


LOCATION: Department of Sololá

In the second half of 2013, the Mathile Institute and the Guatemalan Organization Fundación Castillo Cordova initiated a long-term Chispuditos nutrition program for about 100 children and 100 pregnant/lactating women in Tzununá, Sololá. The feeding program is part of an integrated comprehensive community development program and has the goal of improving the nutritional status and health in children and reproductive age women in these indigenous village.