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Agriculture & economic development programs

While southwestern Guatemala has rich agricultural resources, poverty and war has reduced the community’s knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices. Saq B’e’s on-staff agronomist provides technical assistance which promotes sustainable, long-term transformation, and agricultural diversification.  Saq B’e’s successful micro loan program also supports agricultural investments. We work with consultants and experts from local and international networks in the development of our methodologies, adapted to the populations and context of our region.

 

Using a socioeconomic study, we select and prioritize the most vulnerable communities in southwestern Guatemala. Agriculture and development programs are implemented through community organization, technical support, hands-on training, best practices and follow-up. We monitor and prove the sustainability of our programs by measuring food security, income generation, entrepreneurship, improved nutrition, environmental care, and empowerment.

 

Some examples of Saq Be’s programs in this area include:

  • Creole chicken program – since this program began in 2013, hundreds of thousands of eggs have been produced by hens providing much needed nutrition for growing children and pregnant women. With technical assistance provided by our agronomist, families in the community are provided with a small number of hens and training on care and feeding. Over 500 families in 22 communities have benefited from the program.

 

  • Xe Abaj community - after Hurricane Stan, the small community of Xe Abaj was devastated by a major loss of their crops and faced severe malnutrition.  Located 3,000 meters above the sea level life, their cultivation of corn, potatoes and broad beans usually resulted in minimal harvests. Saq B’e has walked alongside this community, hearing their dreams and looking for lasting solutions. The people of Xe Abaj now plant vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Tomatoes and peppers are produced in greenhouses. and through enhanced techniques, the traditional crops of corn and potatoes have a better production. Chickens and hogs were also introduced to improve their diet. Every family owns a corn silo which keeps rodents away as well as the production of maize secure and in good conditions for the family’s consumption.  A health technician worked intensively one year, teaching good hygiene habits and disease prevention as well as providing basic health care.  Saq B’e has also worked to organize the women of this community. A diesel corn grinder was donated to the community and the women share the responsibility for its maintenance and daily functioning.

  • El Chico community - this remote island community struggled with malnutrition due to poor irrigation.  Saq B’e provided the loan for irrigation equipment advised by our agronomist.  The El Chico community’s harvest doubled, and they paid back the loan in full.

  • Ruth Community women's network - in addition to helping equip the Ruth Community women’s network to make a positive impact on their communities, Saq B’e has provided micro-loans through the network to women who need capital to start up their own small business.

Learn about our Disaster Mitigation and Relief programs.