Goals and Plans for Revised Pilot Project
Three and a half years ago – in January 2015 – our family embarked on a journey to meet the biological mom of our adopted daughter.
When we realized the need of the entire village, Chajmaic, population 1,750 – remote and destitute in rural Guatemala – we began the project that has today become a nonprofit organization, Sowing Opportunities.
We learned that the people in the village use the river for all of their physical needs. It’s polluted and it makes them ill.
Our pilot project for the village is “Water for Life.” Using Chajmaic’s most valuable natural resource, the river – a plentiful water source – we are in the process of setting up a system that’s easy for the villagers to access and have filtered water near their homes.
This would use a pumping system, suctioning the water uphill and drawing it into a tank to purify the water. It will then be sent to the entire village by force of pressure and gravity push, approximately 450 gallons per hour, 24 hours a day. This will eliminate gastrointestinal diseases.
In addition to water accessibility and filtration, we plan to develop water hygiene education, hydroponic farming using the filtered water, teaching villagers to plant vegetables which they can use to feed themselves, on their land, and sell produce.
Goals and Plans for Original Pilot Project
Our pilot project in the village of Chajmaic (population 1,750) will focus on growing Tabasco chili peppers, based on a successful project in Nicaragua that supports village inhabitants through a steady market throughout that country, selling the chilis through an established company in Guatemala, to the U.S. for Tabasco sauce. We see tremendous potential for the village sustaining itself to move out of poverty and eventually support a school and a health clinic locally.
Phase 3 plans to:
- Establish trusted working relations with village leaders in Chajmaic
- Develop land for, and beginning planting
- Hire and train local workers for farming, as well as safe water education, so that they can teach their families, as well.
Specific measureable results would include:
- Rent the size of 6 “manzanas” (10 acres of land, where 1 manzana = 1.72 acres) to cultivate Tabasco chili peppers to sell to the U.S. for sauce.
- Provide a steady income eventually for up to 1,120 people (60:40 men: women) of working age.
- The rivers are used for the villagers’ physiological needs; many suffer from intestinal diseases. Education will be provided to the farm workers, along with farming training, and they will teach their families.
- Self-sustainable income and profit is anticipated after five years and the village is anticipated to own the farm after ten years.
- Safe water, a health clinic, and a school will begin to be developed within the third year.
There are hundreds of NGOs in Guatemala – some focused on health, some focused on education, and other issues – but most of them assist people who live in tourist regions of Guatemala.
There is very little that assists people in the remote region where Chajmaic is. That is one reason that the work there is so very important.