Guatemala Valle del Polochic
$0 needed of $30,000
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.
After a Lifetime of Farming, Things Are Looking Up
Antonia has worked in agriculture nearly all of her 44 years. With training, support and encouragement from local partner ADIP, she is finally seeing results that give her hope for the future.
A widow with five children, Antonia received no schooling, but began learning about farming as a little girl. Her parents instilled in her a strong work ethic and fierce dedication to her family. In her community, the men generally work in the fields and the women in the home, but her father died when she was 11 so she, her mother and siblings had to do it all. They were never able to get ahead.
She married at 15, and though she says her husband became her best friend and was willing to help support her family, they never had much success in farming either. One of their main issues was losses due to pests. When her husband died in 2020, Antonia once again felt overwhelmed. Fortunately, local partner ADIP began working in her community the next year, and that’s when things started to look up for her and her children.
ADIP promotes farm diversification to lessen the devastation if a crop fails. ADIP staff teaches vegetable and fruit production, improved coffee farming, composting, raising poultry or fish, making chicken and fish feed from local resources, and integrated pest management.
Antonia says, “Once I started receiving training in conservation agriculture, I realized that the way I was farming was not the best, and that is why I was suffering losses. Now that I’m doing things differently, my crops are improving. I’ve got a kitchen garden from which I harvest tomatoes, cilantro, chard and chilies, not only for our table but to sell to make some money. My results are giving me new strength and hope.” She can now envision improving her family’s living conditions and earning enough to give her children an education.
“I’m very grateful to God for ADIP and the people who support this program. I’m grateful for all this work being developed in my community. This training is valuable, and gives us a better life and better economic conditions,” says Antonia.
Guatemala Valle del Polochic Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner ADIP