Green Technology and Training for Farmers, Mexico

by Education for Peace (EduPaz)
Farmers learn about Vermiculture in a Workshop
Farmers learn about Vermiculture in a Workshop

In our last report, we told you about two demonstration plot projects that started small but have rapidly expanded. Farmers in Buenavista Pachán and El Triunfo, Mexico, are now selling the tomatoes, cucumbers, chili peppers, lettuce and squash grown in these plots. Building on this success, your generous donation will support advanced training for farmers in Chiapas, Mexico.

To further improve yield and grow more diverse crops, community members have expressed an interest in attending workshops on vermiculture (composting with worms), bocashi (a fertilizer made through fermentation), and other advanced techniques of agro-ecology. Farmers have also recently attended workshops about how to grow mushrooms and four groups are already cultivating them. Group leaders from the over 20 farmer collectives already established in the Buenavista Pachán and El Triunfo recently attended an advanced leadership training workshop where they discussed land management issues. The group leaders came up with strategies for the best way to involve community members in local decision-making about land management.

Given the success of the demonstration plots in Buenavista Pachán and El Triunfo and the continued expansion of community-generated workshops and leadership projects, it’s no surprise that a new demonstration center in Tziscao is also a success. In this community in Chiapas, close to the Guatemalan border, community members have built two cargo tanks that trap rainwater, installed a biodigester and an efficiency stove, and are cultivating a delicious bounty of plants and fruits. And if that wasn’t enough, earthworms are enriching the soil and there is space to produce mushrooms, and to raise hens, pigs and sheep. With your support, EduPaz can help to replicate this very successful project in more communities in Chiapas.

Through generous contributions, EduPaz has been able to implement successful training workshops that are vital in promoting agroecology practices among indigenous communities.

These workshops have taken place throughout Chiapas, Mexico working, in part, to establish sustainable agriculture demonstration plots that encourage farmers to work together and create specialized tasks within the groups such as cleaning, land maintenance, and constructing vegetable beds.

The demonstration plot projects started with a small area where a variety of vegetables were cultivated for community members to learn and consume. These demonstration plots were established in 4 communities where more than 20 groups have been participating.

In two communities, Buenavista Pachán and El Triunfo, the demonstration plots have progressed to becoming plots for commercializing organic tomatoes and other vegetables such as cucumbers, chili peppers, lettuce and squash, as well as some experience with corn, beans and coffee.

EduPaz has even been able to provide communities with an experienced agroecology technician who conducts site visits to help guide the farmers, solve emerging problems, and provide workshops to further the development of green technology in the communities.

Thanks to your support, local farmers are taking the opportunity to educate themselves on using sustainable farming techniques that are increasing their economic opportunities while preserving the environment for future generations.

EduPaz’s education program in agroecology relies on community involvement, and key staff to train and run demonstration centers in Tziscao, Mexico. They currently have one technician, Isidro, who lives in the center, and is responsible for all the agroecology projects there. Due to the overwhelming request for training at the center, EduPaz needs to hire another technician to help Isidro by being a community ambassador and helping communities continue with their chosen projects after they’ve been developed in training workshops and community meetings. This is how the project becomes truly sustainable- once the community have the training and resources they need, then they can go on train others!

EduPaz’s work is effective in creating local economies based on agroecological practices like generating organic fertilizers and using them grow produce and to revive the land. Instead of relying on harmful and expensive chemical fertilizers, community members have low-cost and environmentally-friendly ways to grow food. EduPaz's work with self-help groups, providing micro-loans to start small businesses, and training them to run those businesses. And through your donations you are helping make an impact!

EduPaz has enjoyed great success with its Agroecology Program, which has helped boost food production and generate income for indigenous Mayan communities in rural Chiapas. EduPaz is now moving forward with its holistic approach to continue to build and strengthen local economies through their unique Economic Solidarity Program

They are taking momentous steps to further ensure growth and success of each program by focusing their efforts on the following:

  • Strengthening the organizing skills and training for community leaders
  • Promoting agroecology with microcredit groups, taking advantage of the sustainable agriculture demonstration plots so community members can then go on to replicating practices and knowledge in their communities, reaching many more people.
  • Highlighting focus on groups of women and youth and integrating them more in the processes
  • Motivating and building awareness in the community with various popular education tools such as film, murals, dialogues with other leaders, teachers, local authorities and religious leaders

It is through generous contributions that organizations such as EduPaz can continue to invest in rural communities and their local solutions to sustainable development.  Donate today and you will enhance and accelerate EduPaz's success of creating sustainable futures for Mayan communities!

Thank you for your generous donations to this project. EduPaz works with indigenous farmers in Chiapas to increase the use and knowledge of green agro-technologies. This means introducing new methods, such as vermi-compost, but also bringing back some of the indigenous knowledge that has waned in the face of government subsidies for industrial methods. Part of EduPaz’s programmatic structure, and one reason it is such an effect program, is it’s wholistic approach to education and development. It’s group processes requires that community economies through microcredits include agroecological practices, skill-building and learning, organizing and participation, gender equity and process of inclusion of all community members. Now that’s what we call sustainable!


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Organization Information

Education for Peace (EduPaz)

Location: Comitan de Dominguez, Chiapas - Mexico
Project Leader:
Gillian Wilson
IDEX Latin America Program Director
San Francisco, CA United States

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