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The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children—And the World by Roger Thurow

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chapter three

GUATEMALA

IN GUATEMALA, THE POTENTIAL OF THE 1,000 DAYS CAME TO A boil in a cauldron of cream of potato soup.

“You want your children to grow up healthy and strong, right?” asked Susana “Susy” Menchu, a nutritionist for a local nonprofit clinic called Primeros Pasos, or First Steps.

Si,” came the unanimous reply from a dozen moms and moms-to-be gathered for a cooking class in the hillside village of Chuicavioc. “Healthy and strong.”

“Then what we learn today can’t go in one ear and out the other. It must stay inside,” Susy said, tapping her head.

The women huddled around a stove in a chilly, dank, gloomy community health center, tucked away inside a warren of brick homes and shops. This is where prenatal checkups were administered, ...

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