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.

The harvest Season in Guatemala means development

The Harvest Season known as “Zafra”

The Harvest Season known as “Zafra” generates more than 56 thousand direct jobs and more than 280 thousand indirect jobs in Guatemala and is a booster for the economy.

There are many trade opportunities that arise during the Zafra season. Businesses increase their sales, which promotes the growth of the local economy and the generation of jobs. The sugar mills generate 56 thousand direct jobs and 280 thousand indirect jobs during the Harvest Season.

In addition, around 6,300 suppliers, among them 5,635 small companies and the rest of medium and large, sell equipment and materials to the sugar mills and create jobs in the process.

The harvest Season in Guatemala means development

Among the companies that provide services to sugar mills are laboratories, workshops, food companies, tire shops, sales and rental of heavy machinery, cane producers, technology companies, oil companies, hardware stores, transportation services and gas stations.

Also, businesses on the South of the country, including pharmacies, shoe stores, warehouses, shops, hotels, restaurants, and markets are benefited by the economic movement generated by the Zafra.

That is why the start of the 2020/2021 Zafra will help the economic reactivation of the region and the country while the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry maintains its commitment to the production of sugar, alcohol and energy for Guatemala and the world. The sugar mills are prepared to start the 2020/2021 harvest and have adopted the Return to Work Protocol with Occupational Health and Safety measures against COVID-19.

The harvest Season in Guatemala means development

Guatemalan Sugar reaches the five continents

Guatemala is the fourth largest sugar exporter in the world, according to data from the International Sugar Organization and surpasses blocs such as the European Union and countries such as Mexico, Cuba, and Colombia.

 The sugar produced in Guatemala is exported to all continents and according to data from the Bank of Guatemala -Banguat- in 2019, 55% of sugar exports were destined for countries on the American continent, followed by Africa with 23%, Asia with 13%, Oceania with 5% and Europe with 4%.

Additionally, sugar represents 6.2% of the country’s exports, with foreign exchange earnings of US $ 695 million. In addition to the sales of byproducts from sugar production, such as molasses (US $ 56.3 million) and alcohol (US $ 124.7 million), the Guatemalan Sugar Industry generated US $ 876 million in foreign exchange for Guatemala in 2019 alone.

It is important to highlight that Guatemala exports 70% of its total sugar production, the remaining 30% is fortified with vitamin A and remains in the country to supply local consumption.

Main destination countries for Guatemalan sugar

The main destinations for Guatemalan sugar exports in metric tons –MT- were Canada with 333,596 MT, the United States with 261,628 MT, Chile with 211,075 MT and Mauritania with 165,425 MT.

To the previous destinations are added Taiwan with 111,609 MT, China with 108,999 MT, New Zealand with 92,500 MT, Haiti with 75,081 MT, Democratic Republic of the Congo with 60,437 MT and Senegal with 50,662 MT, according to data from Banguat.

The door to the world

All the sugar that Guatemala exports leaves from a terminal specialized in sugar handling, called Expogranel, which is located in Puerto Quetzal, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

This terminal was built in 1994 and is considered one of the most efficient sugar shipping terminals in the world. It has the capacity to store 350,000 metric tons of sugar in bulk and 58,000 metric tons of sugar in bags, this added to its loading speed, compared to other countries, gives Guatemala a competitive advantage.

What makes it more impressive is its current shipping rate of 2,000 metric tons of bulk sugar per hour. When Expogranel started it took 30 days to load a 35 thousand MT ship and today it does so in just 18 hours. In addition, it has a shipping capacity of more than 3,500 tons of bagged sugar every day.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry shows solidarity with Guatemalans in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

Mobiliario donado por los ingenios azucareros

The Guatemalan Sugar Mills, faithful to its commitment to the development of Guatemalans, have joined forces in the face of the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guatemalan Sugar Industry, in addition to contributing with donations to the authorities, has promoted and supported projects focused on finding solutions to face the pandemic.

Donation of land for the Hospital de Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa

Knowing the need for a new hospital on the South of the country, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry handed over the Government’s disposal a land of 10,000 square meters located in a strategic point with multiple entrances, so that it could be installed there.

The land is located 92 km from the capital of the country, in the municipality of Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, department of Escuintla in the south of the country. This is part of the experimental area of ​​the Guatemalan Center for Research and Training of Sugar Cane –Cengicaña-.

Donation of US$1 million to equip hospital to face the Covid-19 pandemic in the south of Guatemala

The Guatemalan Sugar Indusrty delivered US$1 million to the Government of Guatemala to acquire medical equipment that will enable the hospital to be installed on the South of Guatemala for the medical care of people infected by Covid-19. This hospital is about to be inaugurated by the authorities.

468 public workers will be trained in the South Coast

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry through its social arm, Fundazucar joined with the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (AGEXPORT) to train 468 public workers to support them in the implementation of measures to prevent COVID-19 in markets and squares.

35 Joaquin 1.0 mechanical respirators

The impact of COVID-19 in Guatemala, as in other countries, has caused a shortage of supplies and equipment for hospital care. Thus, the project for the development of the first mechanical respirator created in Guatemala was born, led by Eng. Edwin Delgado, Automation Superintendent of La Union Sugar Mill, who for 25 years has developed professionally in said company.

The Guatemalan Sugar Association – ASAZGUA – also announced the donation of 35 mechanical respirators to the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, which will be financed by the Guatemalan sugar mills to save the lives of COVID-19 patients and when the pandemic ends, will be for use of future patients. By august those respirators will be at the Guatemalan hospitals.

917 kits for health workers and alcohol for Health Centers

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is aware of the need to provide aid to health workers who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19, that is why the sugar mills that produce alcohol donated 10 thousand of gallons of this supply to the Guatemalan’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance.

In addition, through Fundazucar, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry delivered 917 kits for health center workers on the South Coast, which consist of 4 KN95 masks, 2 gowns, 3 pairs of gloves and 1 face mask. 48 health centers in Escuintla, Santa Rosa, Retalhuleu, Jutiapa and Suchitepequez were also benefited, each service received antibacterial gel and disposable paper towels.

110,231 pounds of sugar to Guatemalan families

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry donated 110,231 pounds of sugar in solidarity with Guatemalan families affected by the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

The sugar was handed through the Guatemalan Sugar Association -Asazgua- to the authorities and was part of the food boxes that the Government is delivered to Guatemalans as part of its strategy against the global pandemic.

Guild protocol with OSH measures against COVID-19

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry presented its guild protocol for Occupational Health and Safety in the face of COVID-19. This document contains the prevention measures implemented in sugar mills and guild organizations to avoid contagion from collaborators. Available in Spanish here.

New Hospital in Guatemala has the latest technology donated by the sugar mills and will treat COVID-19 patients

New Hospital in Guatemala has the latest technology donated by the sugar mills and will treat COVID-19 patients

 The Guatemalan Sugar Industry donated to the Guatemalan Government 10 thousand square metters to build a hospital, and also US$1 million to buy equipment and furniture, to help people affected by COVID-19, after the pandemic, this new hospital will remain as one of the most important health centers in the south of the country

 This September 2nd, representatives of the Guatemalan Sugar Association -ASAZGUA-, among them Alfredo Vila and Luis Miguel Paiz, president and general manager, respectively; participated in the inauguration ceremony of the “Santa Lucia Hospital” together with the President of the Republic, Alejandro Giammattei and Government authorities. Initially conceived for the care of COVID-19 patients, this hospital will be permanent for the benefit of the inhabitants of the South of Guatemala.

The Government of Guatemala gave recognition to sugar mills for their contribution to make the hospital of St. Lucia a reality.
The Government of Guatemala gave recognition to sugar mills for their contribution to make the hospital of St. Lucia a reality.

 As part of the commitment and solidarity with Guatemalans and especially with the people of the South of the country, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry contributed US$1 million for the purchase of more than 750 items necessary to equip the hospital. Among which high technology stands out, such as respirators, equipment for clinical laboratory analysis, ultrasound and X-rays, cephalic cameras, incubator, anesthesia machine, cardiovascular imaging system, vital signs monitors; as well as furniture ranging from intensive care beds, washing machines and industrial dryers, among others.

Likewise, the sugar mills through Asazgua made the donation of the land where the hospital was built, which has 10 thousand square meters and is located 92 kilometers from Guatemala City at the CA-2 highway in the jurisdiction of Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, Escuintla.

“The donation that the Guatemala Sugar Industry has made to the people of the South of the country has been very well channeled by the Government. It is a source of pride for all of us that we now have a hospital with technology to provide excellent medical care to the entire population of the South of Guatemala, for whom we have so much affection”, said Alfredo Vila, president of Asazgua.

Luis Miguel Paiz, general manager of Asazgua, highlighted that the Guatemalan Sugar Industry has promoted and supported actions to face the pandemic, such as the donation of basic protective equipment for 917 sanitation workers on the South of Guatemala, as well as the contribution of 110,251 pounds of fortified sugar with vitamin A for the food boxes, which the Government delivered to thousands of families in vulnerable situations.

Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa Hospital Opening
Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa Hospital Opening
Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa Hospital Opening
Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa Hospital Opening
 Incubator donated by sugar mills
Incubator donated by sugar mills
 Equipment donated by sugar mills

Equipment donated by sugar mills
Furniture donated by sugar mills
Furniture donated by sugar mills
Equipment donated by sugar mills
Equipment donated by sugar mills
Santa Lucía hospital inauguration
Santa Lucía hospital inauguration

Sugar mills donate 917 kits and supplies for health workers to protect themselves from COVID-19

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry through its Sugar Foundation –Fundazucar– show solidarity with Guatemalans in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and donate 917 kits for workers at health centers in the South of Guatemala, which consist of 4 masks KN95, 2 gowns, 3 pairs of gloves and 1 face mask.

The sugar mills will also donate 94 gallons of antibacterial gel soap and 96 gallons of alcohol to health posts. In the same way, 152 gallons of alcohol will be donated to 17 municipalities.

Additionally, disposable paper towels will be donated to 48 health services in the 5 departments.

These supplies will allow health workers to carry out their tasks more safely and can better prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Faced with the health emergency caused by the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry have shown solidarity with Guatemalan families by making contributions to support the efforts of the Government, which includes the donation of Q7.64 million for the equipment of the Hospital that is installed in the South of the country and the usufruct of the land of 10,000 square meters for its installation at kilometer 92 of the CA-2 in Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa.

Also, the donation of 35 mechanical respirator for intensive care that will be given to the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance -MSPAS- to save the lives of patients with COVID-19. This respirator was developed in the heart of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, in La Union Sugar Mill workshops, by Eng. Edwin Delgado.

In the same way, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry made available to the Government of Guatemala 110,251 pounds of sugar fortified with vitamin A, which were included in the kit of food, which the Government delivered to thousands of families in vulnerable situations.

Also as part of the changes brought about by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Fundazúcar has adapted social programs and focused its work on training municipal workers, sanitation workers and community leaders, key actors in the prevention of COVID-19 and to promote local development processes.

 

Fundazucar joins the Guatemalan Great National Crusade for Nutrition

Fundazúcar se une a la Gran Cruzada Nacional por la Nutrición en Guatemala

Fundazucar, the social arm of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, joined the Great National Crusade for Nutrition by signing a letter of understanding with the Secretariat of Food and Nutrition Security of Guatemala – Sesan -. With this alliance, Fundazucar will help facilitate nutritional counseling in the departments of the South of Guatemala.

Firma Sesan y Fundazúcar
Maritza Mendez de Oliva, Secretary of Food and Nutrition Security of Guatemala (Photo courtesy of SESAN)

The detection of cases is led by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS) with the support of the Sesan. Its goal is to serve 100% of the girls and boys under 5 years of age diagnosed with malnutrition acute, moderate or severe.

Fundazucar and Sesan come together with the aim of contributing jointly to the active search for cases of girls and boys with acute malnutrition. Fundazucar will form brigades to develop the active search in 57 municipalities in the south of the country, in which it has a presence with the Communities in Development program.

Alfredo Vila, president of the Guatemalan Sugar Association – Asazgua -, stated: “The Foundation has been collaborating since 1998 with food security, and this event allows us to participate and collaborate with the goals proposed by the Guatemalan Government.

Also, Maria Silvia Pineda, representative of Fundazucar, highlighted that as a productive sector representing the Guatemalan sugar mills, it is expected to be an instrument of collaboration and integration of efforts.

Fundazúcar se une a la Gran Cruzada Nacional por la Nutrición en Guatemala

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The Guatemalan Sugar Industry and AGEXPORT join efforts to train public workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry shows solidarity with Guatemalans in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry and AGEXPORT join efforts to train public workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19

Capacitacion-servidores-publicos-Covid19

Faced with the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the Guatemalan sugar mills through their social arm, Fundazucar joined with the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (AGEXPORT) to train public workers in order to support them in the implementation of prevention measures in markets and squares.

Training began for market managers and administrators on July 16th, as well as cleaning and garbage collection personnel and municipal police from said food supply centers. Training will continue in August and it is estimated that 468 public workers will be reached in 26 municipalities in the 5 departments of the South of Guatemala.

Capacitacion-servidores-publicos-Covid19Through a letter of understanding, both institutions established an alliance to train public workers in accordance with the “Guide of Recommendations for the Operation of Markets and Public Squares and Prevention of COVID-19” prepared by AGEXPORT and delivered to the National Association Municipalities and the Guatemalan Ministry of Economy.

Contributing to the efforts of the authorities for the prevention of COVID-19 is part of our commitment with the well-being of Guatemalan families, especially on the South of the country,” said Luis Miguel Paiz, General Manager of the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association.

The objective is to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on people’s health and enable economic reactivation in a sustainable way. As export sector, we have been actively supporting actions to protect people’s health and well-being, because we are convinced that only united we will succeed”, stated Amador Carballido, General Director of AGEXPORT.

“Fundazucar integrated the contents of the guide prepared by AGEXPORT into its Municipal Development Program that it has been carrying out for 25 years to contribute with local development,” said María Silvia Pineda, Executive Director of Fundazucar.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry creates first mechanical respirator to help patients affected by COVID-19

On July 30th, in a virtual press conference, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry presented the prototype of the first mechanical respirator designed and manufactured in Central America, which has the capacity to assume up to 100% of respiration or provide partial assistance to a patient with lung deficiency.

Faced with the health emergency caused by the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, in addition to contributing with donations to the authorities, has promoted and supported projects focused on finding solutions to face this critical situation.

The Guatemalan Sugar Association – ASAZGUA – also announced the donation of 35 mechanical respirators to the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, which will be financed by the Guatemalan sugar mills to save the lives of COVID-19 patients and when the pandemic ends, will be for use of future patients. By august those respirators will be at the Guatemalan hospitals.

Design and development process

The impact of COVID-19 in Guatemala, as in other countries, has caused a shortage of supplies and of medical equipment for hospital care. For this reason, the project for the development of the first mechanical respirator created in Guatemala was born, led by Engineer Edwin Delgado, Automation Superintendent of La Union Sugar Mill, who has 25 years working in the company.

Delgado, along with other experts, decided to take on the challenge of creating respirators to save Guatemalan lives. In March, with the approval and support of the managers of La Union Sugar Mill, the project began, which consisted on the design, development and creation of the first mechanical respirator for intensive care produced in Guatemala, to be called: Joaquin 1.0.

For this task, a group of professionals from La Union and other sugar mills met and together created pieces, developed software, and developed electronic systems. Physicians and pulmonologists also participated in this process, who contributed their experience and knowledge in this type of equipment.

Meet Joaquin 1.0

Joaquin 1.0 is a sophisticated respirator with digital displays that will bring oxygen to the lungs of people who are fighting for their lives and has the ability to take up to 100% of their breath or provide partial assistance to the patient.

This respirator is more efficient than the use of a mask or other devices, by exerting enough pressure to keep the lungs open, preventing their collapse, and thus improving the passage of oxygen to the blood. People affected by acute respiratory problems and now with COVID-19 need such devices for hours or days, and in some cases, their need can extend to weeks or even months.

These devices are shortage worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why the Joaquin 1.0 respirator will be vital to keep patients who cannot breathe on their own due to the serious damage the virus causes to the lungs alive.

The respirator has a computerized control system that is in charge of controlling all aspects of breathing, in addition, it has a screen to present the graphics to the doctors that allows them to determine the best treatment that the patient requires. Many of the internal systems are redundant, backed by critical measurements, which ensure the life of the patient.

Also, the system has self-diagnosis with which it self-evaluates guaranteeing its operation. It also has an alarm system whose parameters are established by the doctor, and the respirator is responsible for monitoring that the patient does not leave these parameters.

A mechanical respirator that was born
in the heart of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry

Joaquin 1.0 was born in the heart of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, in the workshops of La Union Sugar Mill. The Guatemalan Sugar Association – ASAZGUA-, from the beginning has believed in this project, for this reason it financed the purchase of 89 valves made in Germany for the construction of the first respirators, which are the engine for the operation of said equipment.

Álvaro Ruiz, General Manager of the La Union Sugar Mill and Vice President of the Guatemalan Sugar Association -ASAZGUA- stated: “We are committed to Guatemala and therefore we do not hesitate to support this initiative. We have given Eng. Delgado the support, time, human resources, equipment and supplies to facilitate the process. We are very proud of what we are achieving.”

The respirator has already been tested with certified lungs, it is in the third phase, controlled trials with patients are expected next week. The joint effort of sugar mills, the Technical Institute for Training and Productivity –Intecap- and the company Fogel will be used in the production of these equipment.

“For me it is a personal satisfaction because the objective is being achieved, after the effort of several months of hard work in research and development. I am grateful to all the people who have supported with good disposition and in a disinterested way, concerned about the common good, giving life expectancy”, said Delgado. Regarding the name of the fan, the expert said: “It has been named in this way in honor and memory of my little angel Joaquincito“.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry
maintains its commitment to Guatemala

The president of the Guatemalan Sugar Association -ASAZGUA-, Alfredo Vila, announced the donation of 35 mechanical respirators to the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, which will be financed by the Guatemalan sugar mills to save the lives of COVID-19 patients and when the pandemic ends, they will remain for use by future patients.

“We support this effort because we believe in the capacity of our people and because it is part of our commitment to the well-being of Guatemalan families, to contribute to the efforts of helping people in these difficult times”, Vila said.

During the emergency by COVID-19, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry has made a series of contributions to the authorities, focused on confronting the situation, among them the donation of Q7.64 million for the equipment of the Campaign Hospital at the South of Guatemala, the usufruct of the land was also granted for the installation of said hospital. Likewise, more than 110 thousand pounds of sugar were donated for the “Saldremos Adelante” kit, which was delivered to 200 thousand families in vulnerable situations.

Press contact: ldiaz@azucar.com.gt