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Progress Report for "Community Gardens and Sustainable Agriculture in Parque Nacional Pico Pijol - Implementacion de Huertos familiares, mejoramiento agricola y educacion ambiental"
funded by the First Parish Church of Lincoln, Massachusetts, and the Dudley Foundation, Washington State, through the Virtual Foundation
July 8, 2002
Dear Virtual Foundation,
We are sending a brief report to inform you about the progress of the project "Implementacion de Huertos familiares, mejoramiento agricola y educacion ambiental". This project is being implemented with single mothers in communities established in the Pico Pijol National Park, with financial support from the Virtual Foundation and the collaboration of REHDES.
One of our first tasks was to evaluate 7 communities located in the national park’s buffer zone in order to identify single mothers who would most benefit from the project; including those whose economic situation was very precarious. A process to improve the various aspects of the life of 21 of those women was implemented, including the following activities :
Family gardens and sustainable agriculture
- 2 training sessions on the environmental situation and agricultural challenges in the communities of Ocotillo and Comba
- 2 training sessions in horticulture involving the women. Children from the schools in Ocotillo, Palo de Comba, Los Laureles, Cuevitas, Pajarillo, Linda Vista also participated in some activities.
- Ten gardens were established following the training sessions, by and for the benefit of the 21 single mothers and their families.
We also carried out several other projects, designed to provide long-term health benefits to these women and their families, and to strengthen their communities:
- planting of 6000 trees and forest plants on village land, with the women’s groups from the communities of Ocotillo and Cuevitas
- Construction of 25 Lorena stoves (improved stoves) for households in the communities of Ocotillo, Los Laureles, Palo de Comba, Nuevo Paraiso and Linda Vista.
- Two « Cleaning Days » during which children from primary schools helped clean up their neighborhood and installed garbage cans
Another key to these women's futures is to encourage them to create their own support network. To meet this need, we have organized:
Factors which have been key to making this project successful:
- Implementation of 3 workshops on Gender Equity in the communities of Ocotillo, and Los Laureles y Palo de Comba
- Two workshops to strengthen organizational capacities of women’s groups in these communities.
- All activities were made possible because of the work of a Social Promotor who is working on a full-time basis for AECOPIJOL
- The excellent availability and responsiveness of the people involved, especially the Groups of women
Later on we will be sending you a more detailed report with further information about the activities being implemented.
- Extreme poverty in which families are living,
- In several communities the basic requirements for producing food are not fulfilled, such as the availability of sufficient water
- Some women’s groups do not have access to enough land for plant and food production
Director of AECOPIJOL