Young men and women from several indigenous communities in Guatemala graduated from the Agricultural Training Course by Pop No’j, a local partner organization of ICCO Cooperation. The students received training in soil conservation, crop diversification, native species recovery and preparation of organic fertilizers.
26 Maya Q'eqchi young men and women from the indigenous communities of Agua Negra, Nimlajá and Chapayal, graduated from the Agricultural Training Course developed between April and October 2018 by local organization Pop No'j.
The students were trained in soil conservation, crop diversification, native species recovery and preparation of organic fertilizers. Likewise, they were trained in issues of interest for organizational development and indigenous youth participation.
Ida Xol, a 25 years old Maya Q'eqchi woman, was one of the participants.
"I have learned to plant various agricultural crops. I learned how to plant banana and how to apply organic foliar fertilizers. Now I’m going to plant ramon trees in my father's land. I feel happy because these workshops helped me a lot. For us this is very important because it reinforces our knowledge".
The courses were taught using the Farmer Field Schools methodology; participants were motivated to put into practice what they had learned by growing crops in their own plots.
During the graduation ceremony, students offered the fruits of their work: sweet potatoes, cassava and peanuts. This training is particularly important to those students who are parents, as it will help them improve their households’ incomes and their family’s food security.
"As a global organization, one of our objectives is to promote food and nutrition security for small producers. In the specific case of Central America and Guatemala, we support indigenous youth because they represent a future of sustainability and justice. We are sure that the young people now completing this process of agricultural training will be agents of change for their communities," says Oscar Sánchez, Regional Deputy Director of ICCO in Central America.
ICCO Cooperation - together with Kerk in Actie - supports agricultural courses in indigenous communities, as part of the project Mayan Youth Empowerment for Economic Participation.