$9,990 needed of $46,596
The Asociacion Programa Integral de Desarrollo Cristiano Petén (APIDEC) works in community development with indigenous rural communities located in the region of Petén in northern Guatemala. During the last seven years they have implemented a sustainable agriculture program focused on providing training to small-scale farmers in soil conservation, crop diversification, poultry raising and post-harvest practices as part of the Guatemala Four Departments program.
The current phase of the program is scaling-up the activities developed in the previous program by reaching new participants in the five communities that have already been part of the program, as well as new participants in three additional communities. To scale up the sustainable agriculture program, the organization is integrating it into the Maternal and Newborn Child Health program and the Village Savings and Loans Association program, focusing on women, mothers and youth. The migration of men and the variations of the climate in the region has increased the vulnerability of households that are sustained by single women or mothers.
The program’s goal is to empower women and youth by training them in sustainable agriculture practices that increase yields and diversify produce to improve food security, as well as market access to increase income. APIDEC is also introducing the promotion of beekeeping as a new practice with some of the most successful participants of the previous programs.
Raising Chickens Inspires Community Cohesion
Local partner APIDEC’s early baseline training modules in poultry raising have benefited the community during and after the March-September 2020 pandemic lockdown order.
Because the program started during the dry season when instruction in vegetable and crop production was not feasible, organizing women’s groups to raise chickens was first on the training agenda. As it turned out, poultry production helped households cope with the economic downturn.
Families were able to earn an income through the sale of poultry to their neighbors and had a ready source of protein for their own meals. This became extra important when communities were told to shelter in place and could not travel to nearby markets.
Community leader Domingo said that poultry production set in motion a transformation that helped people cope during the pandemic. Prior to APIDEC’s arrival, his small community lacked any kind of infrastructure, institutional support or cohesion. People were just getting by and did not empathize with one another.
Once organized, the highly motivated women continued to work together. As Domingo puts it, “Poultry production promoted fellowship.” The women initially met to exchange information regarding chickens, but the conversation naturally led to … everything else. Domingo declares that “love of one’s neighbor has been particularly noticeable during this time, since the women have found ways to support local families in need.”
Their successful experience prompted participation in further ag training once the lockdowns were ended. According to Domingo. “God has not abandoned us. We came to realize we are all part of the community, and our development depends on all of us. We are also grateful for APIDEC.”
Guatemala Sayaxché Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Asociación Programa Integral de Desarrollo Cristiano (APIDEC)