Candelaria Sut has been planning workshops for the women in Santa Clara la Laguna, Solola and Chumanzana, Chichicastenago, Quiche which have kept the women moving along.
She worked with each of the women in Chumanzana to construct their raised bed using plastic bottles. They next prepared the soil to fill their beds. They gathered organic fertilizar, decomposed leaves, soil, and worm compost. They added a small amount of lime to disinfect the soil and then mixed all the ingredients together. This soil mixture was used to fill the raised beds.
They planted cilantro, radishes, celery, parsley, lettuce, two kinds of beets, onions, leeks, two kinds of cabbage, tomato, and chipilin. These were all starter plants that the women had requested. They also planted squash outside their raised bed as it needs a lot of room to grow. Each woman received an avocado sapling for their patio. Candelaria reported that the children were involved along with their mothers and are learning about organic gardening along with them.
Candelaria arranged for a workshop in Chumanzana given by a promotor from ADEMI, our partner in Tecpan, that taught them how to make organic insecticide, fertilizar, and fungicide. The women worked in groups learning the steps as they produced each product so they can do it on their own in the future. The children again were involved so they will become future organic gardeners.
In Santa Clara la Laguna, the emphasis so far has been on constructing a demonstation garden in the home of Juana Tuj, our partner there. Candelaria will work with those who wish to replicate the raised bed garden in their own homes.
The women are all working hard to make their garden a success. They are looking forward to having vegetables to add to their diet of mostly tortillas and beans.
With the help of a grant from the Atkinson Fund, the Kateri Fund Promotor, Candalaria Sut has shown the women in Chumanzana, Chichicastenango, Guatemala how to implement the ideas they have been receiving in workshops for about a year. This grant will give the women the tools and capital they need.
The first step was to provide each woman with the tools to prepare and tend her garden. There are pictures attached that show them with their new tools. Having these tools has given them a surge of energy which will animate their work.
Here are some comments from the women.:
Manuela Velasquez Alba is new to the group. She is very pleased with her participation. She said that she was going to take care of each one of her gardens so it would always be green.
Maria Quino Velasquez thanks everyone who has sacrificed to give her the tools and materials to start her garden. It will benefit her and her whole family. She will take care of her garden to always be able to eat fresh vegetables.
Dona Catalina Quino will maintain her garden so that she won't need to buy vegetables in the market and can save money.
Sebastiana Och Morales is already benefiting from her garden as she has cilantro growing and doesn't need to buy it. She will grow vegetables always in her garden and guard it so the chickens don't eat them.
On September 26th, the wmone built the first raised bed with Dona Isabela Morales. The plan is to build two each week. The women are working with renewed energy as they see the possibilities ahead!
The Women of Chmanzana have found a unique way to use empty plastic soda bottles and bags. ADEMI, the Kateri Tekakwitha Funds non- profit partner, taught the women how to to build raised bed gardens.stuffing the empty plastic soda bottles with the plastic bags We have bulit a demonstration garden and now are following up with support for the other women as they construct their own gardens. We plan to provide seeds and starter plants along with enriched soil to fill the gardens to provide a firm beginning for each garden. We will continue to accompany the women on a weekly basis with advice and encouragement. When the women in Chumanzana have gotten a good start with their gardens, we will offer the same project to the women in Santa Clara
We have been providing workshops which encourage the women in Chumanzana and in Santa Clara la Laguna to use the vegetables they grow in new ways. Thanks to your donations, we have been able to provide these workshops to the seven women in Chumanzana and the twelve women in Santa Clara la Laguna that are associated with the Fund. To continue to provide the support these women need, we will need to fully fund this project by July 31, 2013. Please let your friends know of this need or make a donation yourself. Fourteen $10 recurring donations would fully fund the project for a year.
Nutrition lessons continue in Chumanzana and Santa Clara la Laguna. We spoke of the importance of good nutrition in order to provide the necessary nutrients to the body in one workshop. Lessons on making herbal extracts to add vitamins to the family diet were well received. The herbs used were mulberry and laural leaves, and "bledo" which the women have in their gardens. In another workshop, we made different types of "atol", a drink made from corn. The women put the herbal extracts in the atol to use as a vitamin drink. One of the women's babies is malnurished and she planned to use this to help him improve.
We are awaiting word from a grant proposal that we have submitted for funding to build raised bed garden frames in the women's patios. They all have gardens, but they are limited in what they can grow. With the raised bed gardens some of the problems they face will be solved. We will know by May 1st if funding will be available.
Thank you for your support. We need more funding for this project to keep it going. The staff is the heart of the program and staff time has been cutback because of lack of funds. We are depending on the donations coming in from all of you, but we need to increase our supporters. Please get the word out about our program that is providing this really vital information to this group of 20 women. It will affect the health of the next generation!
The workshops in Chumanzana and Santa Clara continue. This month the women in Chumanzan learned how to make a herbal extract from "hierba mora" that they grow in their patio gardens. The extract contains vitamins that are lacking in the normal family diet. They put the extract in "atoll" a corn drink which they enjoy. It is an especially good way to improve the diet of the young children.
In Santa Clara, the workshops concerning gardening continue. The women are convinced that it would benefit them to have patio gardens and some have started on a limited basis. We are now seeking grant money, so they will be able to expand the gardens - the practical part of the workshops.
Both of these groups are working enthusiasticly to learn new things. If you have any friends or family who you think would be interested in investing in this project, pass this report on to them. We need more support if it is to continue. It is a direct benefit to the lives of these women and their families.
Eveything is possible with a little help from a friend!
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