Innovative Solutions to create Sustainability, and help reduce Poverty and Malnutrition in Chajmaic, Guatemala
Making Progress . . .
Since its inception, Sowing Opportunities has partnered with the indigenous, remote village of Chajmaic, Guatemala to assess needs and explore agricultural solutions. In 2020 and 2021, we delivered emergency relief during the natural disasters from the recent hurricanes and the COVID pandemic. Now we have a pilot project of mini-greenhouses for 30 dedicated families in the village.
How did we get here
- In 2015 Ricardo San José Roca and agricultural engineer Antonio Longo Arcia traveled to Chajmaic and took soil samples. Antonio determined that the soil was too rocky to grow any vegetables except Tabasco chili (peppers).
- Over the years they have been doing field research. They met with the municipal and village leadership, local landowners, and also visited a Tabasco chili (peppers) plantation in the department of Petén.
- They identified a USAID-funded family farm in Nicaragua to model a plan after¹.
- In 2017, a major water project, Water for Life, was undertaken with the collaboration of the then municipal mayor².
- These had been the only focus for Sowing Opportunities before the pandemic. In March 2020, we started to send groceries to feed families suffering unemployment.
- In August 2020 Ricardo and Antonio traveled to Chajmaic to do a need assessment of over 70 families³ .
- At the end of 2021, our agricultural engineer Federico Arriola Cuéllar arranged his 2022 schedule to start Phase 1 of the Sol y Tierra Greenhouse Farming project.
¹ Tabasco Chili Documentary – Enterprise and Employment, Nicaragua, https://youtu.be/ZRhCj2WDiIw
² Details: https://www.sowingops.org/en/our-projects/water-for-life-project
³ Details: https://www.sowingops.org/en/our-projects/greenhouse-workshop-project
What are we working on now
Budget available at this link.
Phase 1A: Pilot project with individual greenhouses (2022)
Phase 1B: Pilot Project Extension (2023)
- 30 families will participate in phase 1; they will be selected for their leadership in the village.
- A greenhouse structure made of iron will be constructed outside each home. The choice of the metal is suggested to withstand the persistent rain in the region that would deteriorate wood.
- The agricultural engineer will work with the families to do a current needs assessment, select produce they normally consume, such as corn, black beans, onions, carrots and green peppers.
- During the first two weeks, the agricultural engineer will set up a school to be attended by one member of each of the 30 participating families. He will teach them how to do greenhouse farming and how to maintain the greenhouses.
Phase 2: Water Filtration (2023-24)
Phase 3: Community Greenhouse (2024)
→ For information on how this project provides a local solution to global climate change, see this link.