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:

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.

Zafra 2020/21 begins, a season of sweetness and development

Zafra 2020/21 begins, a season of sweetness and development

The Zafra has started with a “Return to work Protocol with Occupational Health and Safety measures against COVID-19”.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry began the 2020/21 harvest under strict measures for the prevention of Covid-19 with the commitment to guarantee the supply of sugar, alcohol, and energy for millions of families.

The Zafra begins each year in November and ends in May, a time during which economic reactivation is propitiated in the South of Guatemala, due to the generation of jobs and the hiring of hundreds of suppliers of products and services.

Measures that sugar mills have adopted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

The harvest Season in Guatemala means development

The production of food and energy are essential; therefore, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry is committed to Guatemala and the world to guarantee the supply of sugar, alcohol, and electricity.

The sugar mills continue their operations under strict preventive measures to provide a safe work environment, following Occupational Health and Safety protocols and the dispositions of the authorities.

In order to maintain sanitary measures, there is the: “Return to work protocol with Occupational Health and Safety measures against COVID-19“, which has been designed and formulated by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry with COVID-19 preventive measures to apply in administrative, agricultural and industrial areas.

This protocol was created based on the Presidential Provisions, the Protocol of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS), the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO). Each sugar mill adopts and adapts it to its daily operation, within the terms of the Law and the Epidemiological Surveillance System of the Occupational Health and Safety Union Policy.

Production projection for the 2020/21 Zafra

For the 2020/21 Zafra, the production expectation will remain between 2.6 and 2.7 metric tons of sugar.

According to the projection, the production of the 2020/21 Zafra in quintals is equivalent approximately to 57 and 58 million quintals of sugar. Guatemala is the third country with the highest productivity in the world, obtaining an average of 10.6 tons of sugar for each hectare of cane cultivated.

For this harvest, the cultivated area is 250,662 hectares and according to the Forest Cover Map prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food -MAGA-, the cultivation of sugarcane represents 3.3% of the arable area of the country.

During the 2019/20 harvest, 56 thousand direct jobs and 280 thousand indirect jobs were generated, benefiting 90% of the municipalities of Guatemala with the economic footprint of Sugar.

Guatemalan Sugar in the world

Guatemala is the second largest sugar exporter in Latin America and the fourth worldwide; it also has the third place in productivity at the global level with respect to obtaining sugar per hectare of cultivated cane.

The main export markets in the 2019/20 Zafra were Canada, the United States, Chile, Mauritania, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal. For this year, countries such as Romania and Equatorial Guinea are added, to which sugar from Guatemala will be exported for the first time.

These exports, added to those of alcohol and molasses, represent 7% of the country’s exports in 2019, according to figures from the Bank of Guatemala.

Renewable energy production

There are 11 sugar mills, and they operate in the departments of Escuintla, Santa Rosa, Suchitepequez and Retalhuleu. In addition to producing sugar, they generate renewable electricity. During the previous harvest, the mills served up to 35% of the national energy demand.

Renewable energy from sugarcane bagasse

During the 2019/20 harvest, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry generated 1,991 gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable energy; 8.6% more than what was generated during the previous season 2018/19, when 1,834 GWh were generated. Contributing to the diversification of the energy matrix and the stability of the electricity rate in the country.

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.

131 youngsters graduate with Guatemalan Sugar Industry’s scholarships

131 young people from 10 technical careers graduated

As part of the “Study Opportunities” scholarship program, promoted by the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association –Asazgua-, 131 young people from 10 technical careers graduated on Thursday, October 15th.

Since the beginning of the program to date, Asazgua has awarded more than 1800 scholarships for the benefit of the youth of the South of Guatemala.

These scholarships to study at the Technical Training and Productivity Institute -Intecap- are awarded to young people between 15 and 25 years old who have completed 3rd grade, their objective is to give them the opportunity to pursue a technical career that allows them to be more qualified for the labor market or start their own business.

Of the graduates, 117 are men and 17 women, who obtained the careers of: home and commercial electrician, car straightener and painter, cook, international cook, home electrician. As well as technicians in: industrial welding, automotive mechanics, industrial electricity, and in refrigeration and air conditioning, at the Intecap headquarters in 4 departments of the South of the country.

131 young people from 10 technical careers graduated

We recognize in a special way the effort made by these 131 young people to complete their studies despite the difficulties generated by the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, and now they are experts who will be able to contribute to the development of the South of Guatemala,” commented Alfredo Vila, President of Asazgua.

Intecap has carried out two market studies to detect labor needs in the region, with the aim of promoting the training and specialization of young people in the professions with the greatest demand. These increases the employment opportunities of these young people when they graduate from their careers. On average 65% of young graduates obtain formal employment.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry increased by 8.6% the generation of renewable energy

Renewable energy from sugarcane bagasse

During the 2019/20 zafra, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry generated 1,991 gigawatts (GWh) of renewable energy; 8.6% more than what was generated during the previous season 2018-19, when 1,834 GWh were generated.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry uses the bagasse or biomass from crushed sugar cane, one of the residues from sugar production, for the production of renewable energy during the zafra season, thereby contributing to the diversification of the energy matrix and to the stability of the electricity rate in the Central American country.

The harvest and sugar production season known as Zafra in Guatemala runs from November to May of the following year and each year more than 7.5 million tons of cane bagasse are reused, resulting from the sugar production process, for the generation of renewable energy. This makes the Guatemalan Sugar Industry self-sufficient in the energy field since they generate their own energy, and the surplus is sold to the National Interconnected System.

This generation of renewable energy prevents 4 million tons of CO2 from reaching the environment each year, according to research by the Private Institute for Climate Change Research of Guatemala -ICC-, a technical institution in charge of advising the sugar sector on environmental matters.