Founded in 1984, the Ixpiyakok Women’s Association (ADEMI) is a local food organization run by and for women and families in Guatemala’s Chimaltenango region. ADEMI originally comprised a group of Mayan widows who wished to combat malnutrition in their community, after discovering that 16 out of 20 indigenous Guatemalan women were malnourished.
Since then, ADEMI has grown to encompass over 30 communities, promoting the value and health benefits of ancient seed varieties, native heirloom fruits and vegetables, family gardening, and dispensing microcredit loans to women in its member communities. A network of community seed banks, trained midwives, health promoters, and small organic gardens stand as a testament to ADEMI’s far-reaching impact. In 2012, ADEMI won the Equator Prize, a biennial award given to community-based, rural sustainable development organizations.