Empowering farmers in rural Colombia

 
$923
$4,077
Raised
Remaining
Mar 23, 2012

From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you!

It is incredible how time passes; it started as a good idea and became a great reality.  The determination of the communities to protect their territory and to improve their quality of life allowed the implementation process of the analog forestry methodology.

30 families from these communities have now better incomes as a result of their hard work. Patience and perseverance was the key to their success, it took a lot of time to set the land, to build the greenhouses and to plant the species.

The families overcame all the obstacles and learnt during the process. Thanks to the team effort, and the support from the donors, the 30 families have now the capacity to keep going by themselves. They have the tools, the knowledge, the expertise and most of all the enthusiasm to keep working for the benefits of their communities.

From Ceferino, Eloy, Farneth, Pedro, Leonardo, Gilberto, Tulio, Modesto, Norberto, Wiston, Felipe, Manuel, Melkin, Antonio, Jesús Aledson, Candelario, Robinson, Tiberio, César, Jhon, Deison, Elías, Mincho, Chachito, Daflin, Eutimio, Tomás and from our team receive our thanks! 

Feb 16, 2012

The sun always shines after the storm

On November 2011, the rainy season hit Colombia with all its strength; it affected its inhabitants all over the country, specially the farmers. Chocó was not the exception; the heavy rain made all the rivers levels grow, the Atrato River flooded the fields where the beneficiaries from Puerto Conto, Vigía del Fuerte and Bojayá had grown the native species.

During the first days of the floods they were concerned because things that were very bad shape, nevertheless day after day they kept visiting the greenhouses and helped to rebuild them. Those were tough days for the beneficiaries and their families, however they stood together with great optimism. They lost a lot, but didn´t lose everything, among the crops the water didn't touch, their spirits remained intact.

We want to share with you a video, where Gilberto Moreno, the responsible for the greenhouses maintenance, shows us the damaged caused by the floods:

Here we are in Puerto Conto, Bojayá, at the greenhouse we built and where we planted the seeds for our forest parcels. Here we have planted species like borojó, jagua, mil pesos, cedro, etc, this is murrapo, and this is borojó. As you can see, during the rainy season the river reached very high levels, it’s been a long time since the last time it happened, the water swept through most of what we had sown. Gilberto Moreno, responsible for the maintenance is going to explain us the damages: My name is Gilberto Moreno, i´m the person in charge here. The rainy season affected us, it caused great damage, the river reached almost two meters high, and we still have mud and garbage dragged by the current.  Every day I came to clean and fixed the broken pots, everybody did the same; no matter how many species were lost, thanks to the effort we could save a lot of them.

Links:

Nov 30, 2011

We're growing!

current status of the plots
current status of the plots

The achievements of beneficiary families in Puerto Conto, Vigía del fuerte and Bojayá have managed to spark interest in other communities in Medio Atrato, who are helping us to restore spoiled areas of forest.

10 families from the La Isla de los Palacios community stepped up to the challenge, setting up plots in Opogadó River where they will work for chance of a better income and to reduce pressure on the region’s rainforest and ecosystems.

They began their work full of enthusiasm and with high expectations.  Each family is now familiar with the land that they will be working on, has corn seed and the necessary means to start sowing it. They were also very attentive to the guidance provided by the technical team; so everything is set!

It’s rewarding to see the snowball effect that this initiative is having: if more and more people join the project, more hectares of forest in the Chocó Bioregion will be restored through the efforts of its own inhabitants.


current status of the plots
current status of the plots
Oct 11, 2011

You reap what you sow

Filling the bags for the seeds
Filling the bags for the seeds

In spite of seeing changes, farmers from Atrato´s River basin-Chocó know that further efforts are needed to achieve the goal. Now, their energy is focused on the proper planting of seeds to ensure the development and growth of each plant. 

All the necessary treatments were applied, and some of the species are in an advanced stage of growth (such as guama and Arbol del Pan), but some need more time. When they have fulfilled their cycle in the greenhouses, the plants will be transferred to the beneficiaries’ forest parcels. 

During this part of the process, activities will focus on the care and attention from the beneficiaries, so it won’t take too long to see the results because they have shown willingness for hard work.

placing the bags in the greenhouse
placing the bags in the greenhouse
Guama seeds in stage of growth
Guama seeds in stage of growth
Greenhouse with all the material
Greenhouse with all the material
Sep 9, 2011

Step by step

Initiating the process
Initiating the process

The sum of knowledge and experience resulted in an excellent teamwork between Fundación Espavé and the beneficiaries. During August they built three greenhouses with enough capacity to supply the species for 20 forest parcels from Bojayá, Vigía del Fuerte and Puerto Conto. (Atrato´s River basin-Chocó).

It was a long process and little by little the farmers found the best areas with the right conditions: plots that were well located, with good water availability and close to towns. With their own hands they cut the wood, built the greenhouses and set the pots for the seeds. In order to make the greenhouses productive, the farmers named someone in charge who will be responsible for the maintenance of the greenhouses and the communication with the Fundación Espavé´s technician.

For now there are just greenhouses, but shortly there will be plants that will be productive and help the beneficiaries to increase their incomes and improve the quality of life for their families.

This was a learning process; everyone involved realized that when people work together and join efforts, the results are satisfactory. The farmers from Bojayá, Vigía Del Fuerte and Puerto Conto have proved that they are leaders with initiative, committed to their families and their communities.

Finished Structure
Finished Structure
Making the pots for the seeds
Making the pots for the seeds
Putting the seeds
Putting the seeds
Finished Greenhouse
Finished Greenhouse

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Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Organization

Project Leader

María Villa

Program Assistant
Envigado, Antioquia Colombia

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering farmers in rural Colombia