La Suiza is a small, rural, secluded village of coffee farmers in the San Marcos region of Guatemala, approximately 7 hours northwest of DLG's offices. Due to its remoteness and lack of resources, food insecurity is a big issue and malnutrition is a common problem. In July, a team from De la Gente trained the local women on planting and growing vegetables and supplied seeds and materials for the new garden. The team recently visited again and are very happy to report the garden is flourishing.
There are a total of 28 women involved in the women's group and part of the food garden project. All of the women are collectively involved in the day-to-day care of the plants and share responsibilities such as watering and weeding. Seeds supplied in July included lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, beans and cilantro - all very common foods in the Guatemalan diet. On the return trip in September, the radishes had already been harvested and each household received two and a half dozen each.
During the most recent visit, the DLG team followed up with the women to hear how the garden is progressing, addressed any concerns and planned for the future of the project. Timoteo, DLG's peer-to-peer trainer for the project, conducted further training on care for the plants, best harvest times and how to apply fertilizers.
In the future, there are plans to scale-up the project - building a bigger greenhouse, adding more crops and increasing the production of food so there is enough food not just for group members, but also enough that can be sold to other community members. In addition there are plans to:
- Distribute more seeds to be grown in each of the women's homes for future crops,
- Plant seeds at different times in order to space out the crops and increase the amount of food produced,
- Expand the range of crops grown.
The most successful part of this project is that the women are not only learning agricultural skills for the benefit of the group, but they are learning skills that can be applied in their own homes and that will be shared and passed on to their families too. This is just another way that De la Gente is supporting communities in sustainable ways and training communities to be self-sufficient now and in the future.
The projects we are conducting in La Suiza are a part of our Combat Roya Program. Your donations can help us support this community and others like it.