Agros Program Staff in Seattle receive Village updates every quarter from our field staff in Central America. The information they send up gives us an update on each of our villages in the following categories: Community Organization, Land Ownership, Housing & Infrastructure, Sustainable Economic Growth, and Community Education and Training. The information is then put in a format that is easy to read and translated into English. Below are links to 3 Village Updates from Guatemala.
Cipriano was one of the founders of the community at San Diego, Tenango, as well as filling the role of Catholic lay leader for many years in the community. In the last couple of years however he fell into a routine of drinking and spending days away from the community and his family. He attended some of the Agros trainings but was not an active participant and maintained a distance from the community’s activities. Then in recent months Cipriano had a major transformation in his life. Agros staff noticed that he began to build a small pond on his land and filled it with water. He has been using this water to irrigate his green pepper, tomato, cabbage, cucumber, and radish plants. He has also begun raising fish in the pond to sell. And on top of all this he is selling snow cones in the community.
When the Agros staff asked him where he got the idea to do this, he answered that he had been paying attention in the Farm Plan* training given by Agros. He has noticed some others working to diversify their crops and income sources, and so decided to imitate it for himself and his family. He has raised his income and now has income year-round with the variety of produce and activities. He has stopped drinking and is becoming an active member of the community again, as well as a greater support to his family. And the Agros staff is sure that he will be a powerful example to the others in San Diego.
*The Farm Plan is a method to help the families plan out their plot of land to decide which crops they will grow at different times of year. The idea is to help them diversify their crops and have crops growing and producing year-round, meaning they would have income year-round and not rely on one or two basic crops that would be susceptible to failure.