Colombia Sincelejo Montes de Maria
$0 needed of $120,000
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)
Located in one of the regions of Colombia that was most affected by the conflict and violence of the early 2000’s, this program focuses on increasing food security through improved agricultural practices and peace building. Activities include agricultural training, community organizing, improving access to markets, and advocacy for victims of violence and displacement.
Support for Great Business Ideas
The world over, when you have a great business idea you need a little support, capital, and counsel to get it off the ground. So it is with Neguith, a leader and farmer, and the women in his community. With local partner Sembrandopaz’s support, their creativity and labor are bringing delicious goods to local consumers.
Neguith grows corn and cacao (chocolate) and has improved on a traditional practice of grinding them together to make a hot chocolate mix. He roasts them on a wood fire, grinds them with cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper, and packages the mix for sale. He and his son even created drawings for the label and took them to a professional to create the logo and brand.
There wasn’t much work available for the local women, many of whom are single mothers who are also taking care of their parents. So, Sembrandopaz helped 27 women create a fruit pulp business. From Neguith’s farm they have access to a variety of tropical fruits. The group extracts the pulp, processes it, and freezes it to sell to people interested in making their own juices. One of the participants, Marisol, said that the women’s dreams for five years down the road include having daily work with permanent salaries, and seeing their kids in college. They’d also like to see their product in supermarkets in other cities and countries.
They were glad when the community decided to form a youth organization. As another leader put it, “We didn’t want our youth just wandering around, so now they manage and tend a vegetable garden and nursery to grow trees for reforestation efforts.” One hundred farmers are each planting 150 of the youth’s trees in order to protect the river and water supply.
Colombia Sincelejo Montes de María Program
Led by Mennonite Central Committee and Local Partner Sembrandopaz