We are here representing Nourish´s first group to work in Vallecillo.
What an amazing initiative FIPAH has here! We arrived at night, after
a 10 hour trip from La Ceiba through bumpy mountain roads. When we
woke up the next morning, we were amazed by the beauty of our town,
San Isidro. We are surrounded by rolling hills dotted with grazing
cows, horses, chickens, pigs, and donkeys, and an angry burro who
brays every hour on the hour.
On the morning of our arrival we met with Marvin, the
FIPAH–Vallecillo director, and staff member Carlos to discuss the
role of FIPAH and our role here this summer. FIPAH–Vallecillo works
with 15 communities and 12 CIALs (Local Agriculture Research
Commitees) on participatory research. One of the projects that the
Vallecillo staffers have been working on is the S.O.S. seed banking
campaign, where they are working towards conservation and maintaining
biodiversity in the region. We have already visited three sites where
members from different CIALs are planting avacado, plantains and
coffee plants together to measure how an increased biodiversity will
increase the yields come harvest time. FIPAH has also been working
with the adult groups on climate change programs. By spreading
awareness about the effects of climate change and how to adapt crops
to these changes, the FIPAH workers help farmers prepare themselves
for possible increases in droughts and floods, like the ones they
experienced last year when almost the entire harvest was rained out.
FIPAH has also conducted personal finance workshops to dozens of
people in the villages. In fact, just this week, we bought jelly from
a very successful new microempresa (very small business) in town and
went to visit a small scale organic fertilizer business operated by an
18 year old farmer.
This week we also met with three of the five schools we will be
working with. The teachers were all excited to allow us to come and
share time and knowledge with the students. We have been working hard
to improve and make each lesson plan specific to the needs of the
different schools. Marvin and the teachers are both really open to the
idea of promoting knowledge about the upcoming elections, as well as
about sexual education–topics that are a bit more sensative than just
teaching English. We´re looking forward to exchanging points of view
with the kids on these important issues.
It is so exciting to observe and learn about the work that FIPAH does
here in the communities of Vallecillo. Having already seen the impact
of the organization thanks to the kind members of FIPAH, we have each
been inspiried to find a focus in the various activities FIPAH is
involved in. We know two months will fly by, but for now we are
excited as every day will bring new adventures and new knowledge.
el equipo de Vallecillo