Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Nancy Romero-Daza, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Rebecca Zarger, Ph.D.

Keywords

Applied anthropology, Globalization, Homegardens, Maya, Nutrition

Abstract

A district-wide school garden project has been initiated in the Toledo District of Southern Belize in response to reported high rates of poverty and undernutrition. This paper will discuss research conducted in the summer of 2007 with Q'eqchi' Maya in the Toledo District to determine the effect of school gardens on household diet and gardening, the composition of the household diet, and the makeup of homegardens. Food frequency questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were conducted in two rural villages, one with a school garden program and one without. Various members of NGOs working on school garden projects in the district were also interviewed about the functionality and purpose of the projects. Results discussed herein include the limited effects of the school garden program, the role that both homegardens and school gardens play in household diet and nutrition, the diverse array of fruit trees utilized by the Q'eqchi, and a description and inventory of a typical Q'eqchi' homegarden in Belize.

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