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Guatemala Guatemala Valle del Polochic

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$32,968 needed of $60,000

Implementing Organization

World Renew

Program Summary

The Asociacion de Desarrollo Integral Polochic (ADIP) began in 1992 and its work focuses on preventive health, adult education, sustainable agriculture and leadership development in communities located in the remote Polochic region of Eastern Guatemala, which is often affected by natural disasters. The program is scaling-up work started during the previous Guatemala Four Departments program.

During the past seven years, ADIP has been working with small scale farmers of the Q’eqchi’ communities of the Polochic Valley region, promoting sustainable agriculture and food security practices such as: soil conservation techniques, crop rotation and diversification, root processing, coffee and cardamom management, fish husbandry and root crop processing. During the current phase of the program, ADIP has expanded their work to include two new communities while continuing to work in four of the communities that were included in the previous program, and that have not yet reached the level of an ‘advanced community’.

The program’s goal is the transformational development of these six impoverished communities in rural Guatemala, through the implementation of trainings about sustainable agriculture using local resources. Much interest has been generated in the target communities for the trainings offered through this program, thanks to the achievements made over the last 6 years, but specifically in the last three years in which the partner integrated the agriculture program with the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) program and with the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) program, expanding its reach to a vulnerable target population: households with mothers and children between 0 to 2 years of age.

Success Stories

Improving the Soil for the Children

Local partner ADIP is pleased with the progress of a particular community where so many of the families are putting into practice the conservation farming techniques they’ve been exposed to. A shining example is Zacarías.

Zacarías learned subsistence farming practices from his parents. As he married and became a father of seven, he continued working the land the way he’d been taught. He began noticing that the land he’d inherited was not, as he put it, as “strong” as it used to be. The yields were lower, and with a big family to feed he was very worried.

Like his parents before him, he also worked on a large local plantation. There, he learned that applying chemical fertilizers on maize and beans produced impressive harvests, so he started using them at home. Initially, the results were good, but then the problems of low yields and crop losses worsened on his farm. Since this was also happening on the plantations, they began shutting down, and he had to start looking for work in other parts of the country. So, when ADIP offered a sustainable agriculture program to area farmers, Zacarías was one of the first to participate in the meetings and training sessions. Learning that there were ways to recover his land and to farm without the excessive use of chemicals was eye-opening for him.

He was surprised that he had so much to learn, despite farming his whole life. “Before ADIP’s intervention I taught my children what my parents taught me. I thought it was all there was to know,” he says. Since that first meeting, he has enthusiastically adopted all the recommended soil conservation techniques on his farm. He practices crop diversification and rotation, plants fruit trees, and is committed to sustainable farming. He does it for his children, who will one day inherit his land.

Guatemala Valle del Polochic Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner ADIP

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