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Church Nutrition Program Helping Bolivians

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is teaching some Bolivians in a remote region of the country to eat healthier by growing their own vegetables. LDS Church News reporter Jason Swensen traveled to Suriquina, Bolivia, to see how people are growing vegetables in a carefully monitored hole in the ground.

People in this remote area of the Bolivia Altiplano region live 14,000 feet above sea level, an altitude coupled with harsh conditions in which growing a traditional vegetable garden is not possible.

They have existed for many years on meat and potatoes, a diet without the necessary nutrients to maintain balanced health. Wade Sperry, an agronomist for the Church's Welfare Services Department, is working as a field operations manager. He says the Altiplano people are malnourished, which can cause developmental problems and hinder growth.

Working through the Church's Benson Institute in La Paz, about 100 families have learned how to grow vegetables year-round in an adobe greenhouse, five feet deep, six feet wide and 10 to 15 feet long.

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