A woman participant and her granddaughter stand with their lush greenhouse, 8/4/2022

 Federico and Ricardo returned to the remote village of Chajmaic, Guatemala on August 1 and report on 9 new developments.  Sowing Opportunities now has a capital campaign. 

Dear family and friends,

When Sowing Opportunities’ agricultural expert engineer, Federico, and our project manager, Ricardo arrived in Chajmaic, Guatemala on August 1, 2022, they took part in the initiation of 9 new developments in this remote, indigenous village of 3,000 people:

1. As they had heard that inhabitants of two neighboring villages were interested in growing greenhouses, they visited homes and learned that in these two villages - Nacimiento and Santa Lucía - everyone wants to participate.

Agricultural engineer Federico greets interested families as he walked through the village, 8/1/2022

2. Federico and Ricardo plan to check the height of the water tank to calculate the pressure that the pump needs to have in order to proceed with the water potability project.

Children climbing up the 600,000 gallon capacity water tank, following Fern, 12/21/2018

3. You may know that remote villages in Guatemala have no infrastructure - scant electricity (an electrical wire passing inside some of the homes), no running water, no refrigeration, and minor protection from the elements, making them at risk during hurricane season. 

There are very few places in the community where one can get a cell signal or internet connectivity, and it is very slow. Therefore, when our workers travel to Chajmaic, they stay in the closest, safest hotel, which is a 2-hour drive through a mountainous area with scant cell signal. 

As developments ramp up and we make plans to return more frequently to the region, to save long-term costs, Sowing Opportunities is initiating a capital campaign to acquire a plot of land away from the river, on high ground, and construct a multipurpose building that would be owned by the nonprofit. 

We would first gain buy-in from the village leadership (COCODE). The building would be used for safe office, meal, and sleep space with utilities, for when workers are in the region. It would also be used for emergency shelter during flooding for the village's most vulnerable - the aged and infirm, and single mothers and their children.

Ricardo found land which is unique in its centrality and availability. (See below.) In terms of location, it is close to the school and the health center in Chajmaic. It meets all the criteria. To buy this land, we are looking to raise USD $12,870. $12,870$12,870 $12,870

Chajmaic greenhouse participant Joel Cu Coc took Ricardo to see available land.  This spot was the most uniquely promising.

4. On August 2, 2022, Ricardo and Federico met with leaders of the neighboring village of Nacimiento to discuss setting up greenhouse beds there for 30 new participants. The leaders asked many questions and were satisfied with the responses given, and are interested in going forward, so negotiations have begun.

Federico checks info. in response to questions raised by the leaders of Nacimiento, after Joel (red shirt) explains about his personal success as a greenhouse farmer in Chajmaic.

5. On August 5, Federico and Ricardo climbed the mountainous terrain across the village, to visit and see the progress of nearly 20 of the 30 greenhouses. Click here to see a video of Ricardo's journey up the mountain.

At the top of the mountain, Ricardo took a video of the breathtaking view in the valley below. You can see the video at this link.  

At the homes, Federico explained how the participant families can adjust their growing for the next crop of corn, and this is translated into three languages - English, Spanish, and Q'echqi'. Click this link to see the video.

In addition, Ricardo took a video of a surprise crop: tomatoes. Click here to see the video.

Federico and Ricardo were met with some astonishingly positive results of crop success:

Ricardo demonstrates the height of the celery growing, alongside cabbages.  See the corn in the background.

6. The corn is growing incredibly! Ricardo reports, "Everyone is eating tortillas at every meal and drinking atol (a corn drink) from their harvested corn."  

7. Ricardo reports, "The corn has grown better than we could believe: We had calculated a harvest every 4 months, which would give 3 harvests per year.


But the harvest arrived in the 3rd month, which gives 4 harvests per year.

Here everything is coming out better than we expected."

Ricardo stated that "Speaking of our harvests (all of our harvests in Chajmaic), they are better than any other harvests in Guatemala."

Federico with a greenhouse participant.  Her corn plant is ~3 meters high!

8. Based on the instructions on how to grow potatoes in bags (May 31, 2022), participant families now have potatoes to eat!  You might remember that this brief introduction was extra. This was never scheduled within the original program, but they responded so well to all the work that was included.  Here you see a result of something previously little known to them.

Potatoes growing in bags

La canícula (reprieve from the rainy season) was brief this year due to climate change.  Here is a video of the heavy rains that Ricardo recorded.  As a result of the rains, insects have started to come out , but Ricardo and Federico brought organic insecticides with them.

To confirm why Sowing Opportunities is using greenhouses and bagged farming, take a look at the rocky soil that is throughout Chajmaic:

The soil in Chajmaic is very rocky, making it extremely difficult to dig down into.

It is thanks to you that we are able to send Federico and Ricardo to Chajmaic, a 12-hour difficult journey from Antigua, Guatemala, where they live, and to provide the resources for the families to eat and have enough to sell in the market.

You might remember that Chajmaic was experiencing malnutrition just 18 months ago.  Sowing Opportunities was making groceries deliveries to this remote region, so that the people would not starve.  In 2020 Sowing Opportunities delivered 12½ tons of groceries

to the people. 

As always, 100% of all donations received go directly towards 

agricultural sustainability in the remote, indigenous village of Chajmaic, Guatemala.

We are in this together! 

Please share this email with others.

Our contact email is info@sowingops.org.

Thank you again for your support of the greenhouses project.

A family, smiling on 8/3/2022 with bags of corn after the harvest, ready to be sorted again and planted with new seeds, which will be done next week.

Sowing Opportunities, Inc.
21 Ivy Road
Malden, MA 02148

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