We’re Never Done Learning
Until local partner ADIP offered training in soil conservation, Zacarías thought he’d learned everything there was to know about farming … and that it wasn’t getting any better.
His parents had taught him traditional farming and he’d done what they’d shown him for many years. But then he started noticing that the land he inherited was not as “strong” as it used to be. The yields were lower, and with seven children and a wife to feed, he was very worried.
From his work as a day laborer on the plantations of large land owners, he saw that maize and bean harvests improved with chemical fertilizers, so he started using them, too. His results were good at first, but crop losses worsened after a while. Not only for him but for the plantations, which began shutting down. Zacarías began to migrate to other regions of Guatemala to earn income. He didn’t know what else to do.
In 2020, ADIP began implementing a sustainable agriculture program in his village. Zacarías was one of the first people to participate in their meetings and training sessions. Learning about ways to recover the land and farm without the excessive use of chemicals was eye-opening for him.
“I was very surprised. Many of the topics, specifically soil conservation, were new to me. Since that first meeting, I have enthusiastically used those techniques on my plot, enriching my soil, planting living barriers to slow erosion, planting fruit trees, and diversifying my crops to lower the risk of a total crop failure. We’re eating better, we’re able to share with others, and we’re earning some money.”
“I am proud of my plot because it reflects my efforts before the eyes of neighbors and people who visit. I share my experience about soil conservation with anyone who asks, and my neighbors are doing conservation farming, too. Imagine: I used to think I was done learning! I’m now committed to improving and managing my land in a sustainable way and to teaching it to my children, because someday they will own this land.”
Guatemala Valle del Polochic Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner ADIP