The Atzin Special Needs and Nutrition Nimechnequi Program provides enabling support to 60 children and elderly living in acute poverty in Tlamacazapa, Mexico. Each week Atzin health promoters organize home visits; accompaniment to medical appointments; transport; vitamin and food supplementation; medications and equipment; dental visits; education; and distribution of clothing and goods. The program strengthens families' abilities to provide better quality of life for those with special needs.


The 6,200 Nahua villagers earn a meager living by weaving palm baskets. Laboratory studies revealed toxic metals in the water, soil, palm dyes and clay cooking pots. These toxins produce a silent crisis of slow poisoning. Many children and elderly are undernourished and/ or have special needs, suffering from low levels of chronic toxicity, poor diet and health problems. The majority of adult women are illiterate. Macho male attitudes, alcoholism and domestic violence seriously affect daily life.


People with special needs need special attention. Living in acute poverty is tough; coping with a specific health condition is even more difficult, especially for families with small children or living with violence. Atzin promoters, all young local women, offer enabling attention as a weekly community service under the supervision of Atzin staff. This ranges from medications; food & vitamin supplements; accompaniment; logistical and transport arrangements; information; document preparation.

Long-Term Impact

Atzin's Special Needs & Nutrition Program works with approximately 60 families that have children or elderly with serious health challenges, most on a longer term basis. Recognizing the many difficulties of living with a disability in a rural area with few or no nearby services, our goal is to help them meet their daily needs and contribute to an increase in their quality of life.