COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE AND AGROCHEMICALS IN ALMOLONGA, GUATEMALA*

Authors


  • *

    Support for this research was provided by the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas, Austin, from funds granted to the institute by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Abstract

ABSTRACT. Large amounts of synthetic pesticides are used in Guatemala to increase the production of nontraditional crops. Almolonga, a township in the western highlands, produces vegetables for markets in Mexico and Central America. Almolongueños make intensive use of limited cultivable land and abundant water resources, as well as sizable amounts of synthetic pesticides. Among Almolongueños, congenital malformations, cancer, anemia, and respiratory infections await substantiated links to exposure to pesticides. The prevalence of infectious and parasitic diseases and nutritional deficiencies—the dominant health concerns—may be heightened by excessive use of pesticides. Public-health initiatives involve the rational use of pesticides or their elimination.

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