$14,872 needed of $60,000
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.
If anyone thinks migration to other countries is an easy way out for Central American communities, they should ask the families left behind. Especially the women.
When it’s no longer possible for men and older boys to make a living at home, families often feel there is no choice but to scrape together the funds necessary for them to travel elsewhere to look for work. This is a risky decision with no guarantee of safety or success, yet migration keeps increasing. The wives left to carry on often wonder: Where are they? Did they make it safely? Are they still alive? Have they managed to find a job? Is it hard for them? Or is it so great that they’ve forgotten their families and responsibilities as husbands and fathers?
Fortunately, while local partner Asociación Programa Integral de Desarrollo Cristiano (APIDEC) can’t answer those questions, they can offer sustainable solutions to the challenges the families face.
Women have had to become much more involved in agricultural work, their main source of income, so APIDEC offers training and support in sustainable agricultural techniques, including kitchen gardens. The women learn crop diversification and rotation, soil conservation, pest control, poultry farming, harvest practices, and the importance of fruit trees. They join savings & internal lending groups, participate in child & maternal health classes, create income-generating cottage industries, and advocate for themselves and their children.
A group in Herencia Maya (Mayan Inheritance) is always eager to work hard to get ahead and support their families, producing more food and generating extra income. They say that having the support not only of organizations such as APIDEC but of each other as women, they have found peace regarding their home situations. They feel empowered by what they have learned through these activities, and they wish to continue working and showing how strong they have become.
Guatemala Sayaxché Program
Led by World Renew and local partner Asociación Programa Integral de Desarrollo Cristiano (APIDEC)