"In Guatemala, A Bad Year For Corn — And For U.S. Aid"

"In a good year, Jesús García Ramos can feed his family all year on the corn that he grows in small fields around his home in the Guatemalan village of Quilinco. But this was not a good year.

On a visit in August, I met García Ramos in the field behind his house, where I found him hacking down dried-out yellow corn stalks with a machete. He had planted the corn in March. But then it didn't rain in June or July, the crucial months when kernels form on the cob. He expected his yields would be about half what he'd expect in a good year, or maybe less.

"We don't feel bad though, because we're used to it," he says.

Quilinco sits deep in Guatemala's western highlands, in an overwhelmingly agrarian region where poverty is high and child malnutrition rates hover around 70%. The region also boasts some of Guatemala's highest migration rates to the United States. Local farmers say climate change is making it increasingly difficult to get by and is one of the factors pushing people to head north."

Alissa Escarce reports for NPR September 30, 2019.

Source: NPR, 10/07/2019