Mini Greenhouses, January-March 2023


Details and photos are in our most recent bulletin, Sowing Opportunities is building … capacity, resources, and leadership in remote indigenous villages in Guatemala

The continuation of this project is at the page, Meeting the 30 new families (November 2022)

You can donate here: 

or on Facebook , which will match monthly donations from $1 to $100 if you sign up through December 31st.  Details are here.

One of the 5 leaders in Chajmaic, María Leticia Caal Pan and Sowing Opportunities’ Project Manager Ricardo San José Roca at her greenhouse, August 2, 2022

The 30 new families have been selected for Phase 2 of the Greenhouses Project, which will allow 20% of the inhabitants of Chajmaic to have sustainable agriculture in their own homes.

Full list of 30 family participants for the January-March 2023 Phase 2 Greenhouses project in Chajmaic, Guatemala

At present, these families are all from Chajmaic. There are three reasons for this:

First, we need to confirm buy-in from the COCODE leadership in the neighboring villages of Aldea Nacimiento Raxquichè en Raxruhá, y Aldea Santa Lucía Lachuá since our meetings in August before we can proceed with their greenhouses projects.

And, second, we need to better understand source of water for these villages and fund solutions, as they are not near the Cahabón River, as is Chajmaic.

Río Cahabón from the bridge in Chajmaic (photo credit Ricardo San José Roca, December 21, 2018)

Initially water might be transported manually as is done in Chajmaic, and eventually, a water project in each village would be the end of many diseases and improve life exponentially.

Carrying water from the river in Chajmaic

The third and most important reason is that financially it is not yet possible to expand to the neighboring villages for this round, as this January we have the second group already confirmed in Chajmaic.

The main thing that is important to know about Sowing Opportunities’ work in this sector is how extremely remote it is, and the complete lack of resources it receives from any other source – governmental or nongovernmental. That’s what makes this work both unique and essential. Because of its remoteness, there are no tourists.

Just outside the village of Chajmaic

Its remote nature is due to historical governmental decisions, dating back to the 1950s, involving land rights in Guatemala for rural and indigenous populations.

Land Rights in Guatemala for Rural and Indigenous Populations

The result is that the inhabitants of these remote lands had inarable soil – rocky and mountainous – and the techniques which their ancestors had taught them could not be applied here. The Q’echqi’ – that is, the Maya people who live in Alta Verapaz – are very tied to their land and the mountains, but it was only when they learned the new techniques of greenhouse farming that they could begin to adequately feed their families and establish an economy.  Therefore, this project is making a difference in ways that can be replicated throughout the region.

The sale of cultivated agriculture in the marketplace is very much dependent on the weather. The ongoing torrential rain during the winter season (May through November of each year).

Driving rain in northeast Alta Verapaz

In the meantime, family participants have been selling their produce in small quantities to their neighbors. Here, the son of participant Joel Cu Coc, sells the much-prized quilete to the daughter of another family who does not currently have a greenhouse.

Joel’s son selling quilete to a neighbor

We have in front of us three projects:

  1. Setting up the greenhouse project, phase 2, in January 2023 for the second set of 30 family participants.
  2. Continuing our water project – first for Chajmaic and then for the neighboring villages.
  3. Purchasing the land that is available, flat, and on higher ground, to build a multipurpose building.

If you can help us, every amount is gratefully received and put immediately to work.

If you are local, please join us at our upcoming fairs.  Here is the list of upcoming events.