Canadian Trade Policies damage any aid that goes from Canada to countries like Guatemala:
An eye opener of an article by Paul Webster helped me understand that Guatemalan peasant farmers will never eat the nutritious produce they help farm:
"The valleys contain the best land, but they are mostly used for export crops, not for growing food for Guatemalans."
"Rural families, most of whom survive via subsistence farming, suffer hunger and malnutrition because international agribusiness takes the best soil."
"Developed countries such as Canada built their agricultural might using protectionist measures such as subsidies, tariffs, and trade barriers in place to support Canadian farmers. Meanwhile, poor countries such as Guatemala have been forced to abandon such measures - often at the urging of the developed countries"
So what can I personally do about this? I'm not sure. I would like to say that I will make the time to do some research and find a way to help...I think this is not highly possible as I have a job, and family, and responsibilities that take of my time. However, I am going to try to find fair trade companies whom I can purchase products from:
COLORES DEL PUEBLO
LAS MUJURES DE PANABAJ
GIFTS WITH HUMANITY
There are many more Fair trade on-line shops form Guatemala and other countries - you can do a search for the country you are interested. Just be sure that the site has a Fair Trade Federation tag.