$36,179 needed of $50,472
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 Dpartments 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.
Community Success is Personal Happiness
Right about the time Angelina and her family were going through very tough times, local partner ADIP arrived in their community with an offer of training and support. Angelina says, “Nowadays I can see how lots of families that used to feel desperate like me are improving themselves and feeling hopeful.”
Just how did things change so much for her and her neighbors?
They live in a small settlement lacking in basic infrastructure like roads and potable water, on sloping, irregular land given to the families as severance from their longtime work on a coffee plantation. Angelina’s husband cultivates a small plot of land with corn or beans, but the family’s main source of income – barely enough to survive – comes from working on palm oil farms.
ADIP developed a relationship with the community’s leaders when they came to assess the situation in 2016. ADIP offered training in adult literacy, justice, community organization, preventative health and sustainable agriculture. Since agriculture is the main livelihood of the people in the community, all the hands-on practice on vegetable gardening, crop diversification, organic composting and hydroponics has made a big difference in their lives. Says Angelina, “I constantly participate. It is a new opportunity to be an example for future generations. Now I am seeing a change in my family, and those problems of food insecurity have been reduced. Not yet 100%, but we’re getting there.”
She continues, “They’ve encouraged us to work with unity, solidarity, equality, and justice, all important for achieving community transformation. We cannot pay for all this, but our gratitude is greater than what my words can express. God bless all the people behind making this possible!”
Guatemala Four Departments Program Led by World Renew and Various Local Partners
Note: Guatemala Four Departments is continuing as two separate programs – Guatemala Sayaxché and Guatemala Valle del Polochic