Yamileth Alonzo joins ViviendasLeón Guatemala

Yamileth (lower left) with some members of our first farming families at a composting workshop in May

We are thrilled to welcome Yamileth Alonzo Zárate, our most recent addition to the Guatemala staff as the Sustainable Farms Program Director.  Yami is an agronomist with experience in multiple areas of farming including food diversification and nutrition training, agriculture and business technical training, strengthening food security and resilience training, and disaster preparedness in rural populations.  She is an incredibly dynamic and enthusiastic person, just what is needed to motivate and train our new group of women in Guatemala.

My first month as an agronomist at ViviendasLeón

“During my first month working for ViviendasLeón Guatemala, I had the opportunity to visit the women who are our first group of farmers in the communities of Paxub’ and Los Planes.  I have experienced the enthusiasm of the women for the new project we are about to start, and the participation and involvement of their families when preparing the land that we will use for planting vegetable crops. On a personal level, it fills me with joy, and I also feel committed to each and every one of them, to do an excellent job and achieve the objectives of the program.”

Having seen each family’s property, I have formulated an action plan for each productive plot, and divided it into two phases: the first is eight macro tunnels covered in nylon sheet, built to plant crops such as tomatoes, peppers or jalapeño peppers. These crops require heat to thrive and cannot be produced in the open field due to the cool temperatures where the communities are located in the mountains surrounding the lake. 

The second phase includes open field crops with varieties such as broccoli, cauliflower, beet, radish, onion, and cilantro, all 100% organic. By using organic compost made on site, insecticides based on native plant extracts, and mineral-based fungicides, we ensure that the entire process from germination through harvest is organic.. We will also be placing traps for aphids, insect repellent plants, and climbing crops as windbreak barriers to protect each farm.

Our development goals:

Our development objective is to provide people with the necessary skills to successfully manage a sustainable food security farm, ensure their daily nutrition by growing their own vegetables, and to sell their surplus, about 75% of what they grow, to increase their family income. My personal objective is to do my best to move this project forward, help the beneficiaries, and get the maximum productivity out of their farm’s potential. I am extremely grateful to ViviendasLéon Guatemala for trusting me and my abilities.”

You can read more about the Los Planes and Paxub’ communities in the stories below.

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