Guatemala has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world. To address this issue, the Association offers a vibrant family garden program. Each spring, women receive a donation of seeds and begin planting their family vegetable gardens, known as huertos. Similar to other projects, Carlos, our agricultural expert, provides invaluable training and support. He has even shown the women how to collect urine from their cow and use it as high-quality fertilizer! Typically, seeds for beets, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes are provided since they all grow well in the cool climate where these women live.
But there are some other vegetables that need a slightly warmer climate to grow optimally, such as tomatoes and leafy greens. So recently, the Association proposed that two greenhouses be built as a pilot program. Funding was provided and two groups of women were selected to build, plant, and maintain the greenhouses. The objective was to expand the diversity of vegetables grown, extend the growing season, and equip women with additional knowledge and experience in vegetable production. Carlos worked with these women every step of the way and the results are impressive. The women are not only growing enough to feed their families but often have a surplus to sell for extra income. Watch this video to see the bounty!
Seamless collaboration of many partners is resulting in beautiful produce and healthy families.
We are grateful for all the partners who work to make this project happen. Each year, Presbytery of the James (Richmond, Virginia) sends a generous donation to CEDEPCA earmarked for the purchase of vegetable seeds. CEDEPCA then purchases high-quality seeds, packages them, and delivers them to almost 200 families in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, including women of the Association. The Association Board schedules seed delivery and contracts with Carlos to provide ongoing training to the women. New Castle Presbytery underwrites this critical training.
We also express our gratitude to Aldersgate United Methodist Church (Durham, NC) and Westminster Presbyterian Church (Wilmington, DE) for sponsoring the first two greenhouses. We can’t wait to see how this project blossoms!