What does access to nutrition and health education mean for students in rural Chacaya, Guatemala? Chacaya is a remote indigenous village of less than 1,000 people on the shores of Lake Atitlan. The students in Chacaya Middle School had the opportunity to take part in a Comida Vida workshop last week to explore those questions in their community.

Comida Vida is JUSTA Collective‘s Holistic Health program with the mission to inspire reconnection with traditional foods and nutrition awareness in Lake Atitlan communities. Guest speaker and Guatemalan nutrition expert, Pedro Rodríguez, joined JUSTA Collective at Chacaya Middle School to discus “What does nutrition mean to you?” Students spent the afternoon participating in interactive simulations and thought-provoking discussions on practical ways to make healthier food choices.


Buy local, think global. Engaging students in conversations about supporting local produce. Where does the money go when you buy foods at the market from local vendors instead of packaged foods from a grocery chain?


Students were given 5 quetzals, equivalent of about 70 cents, to go shopping in our simulated market. Learning practical ways to make healthy purchasing decisions. What would you buy?


Our drink selection during the simulated market. If carbonated sodas or sugary juices are the only options, how do we find a better health alternative?


What does it really mean to “eat the rainbow?” Highlighting the nutritional benefits of incorporating a array of colors into your diet. Eating foods from each color category keeps you healthy!


What does it mean when a product advertises “Vitamin C?” Learning to read the ingredients list to see what’s really inside!


Students try delicious Limonada con Chan (chia seeds) during JUSTA’s Comida Vida Workshop. After talking about the many nutritional advantages of adding Chia to your diet, students asked to keep the seeds to plant at home. Since chia seeds are a traditional and local food to Guatemala, we are all excited to grow and eat more!


Nutritious alternatives to packaged snack foods. How about nutrient-packed avocado on a tostada and fresh sandilla (watermelon)? Cheaper than a packet of cookies and far more delicious!


Ending the day with full bellies and smiles. Thank you to Pedro Rodríguez and the students of Chacaya Middle School for another delicious day of food learning!