Loving Arms is a Canadian charity working to transform the lives of the people we serve living in Guatemala.
My trip here was very fast and smooth. Alicia and Sergio were just pulling up to the terminal as I walked out.
My first stop once arriving in the Parramos area was the Loving Arms property. What a pleasant surprise!
I am happy to report that the property is in full service!
First we have given the “second” plot of land to Serapio (our Property Management family) for a garden. He is growing black corn, yellow corn and beans.
The Orphan and Widows garden plots have been moved from the “second” plot of land to the “third”. They are using a special plastic covering which helps with moisture and also insects.
They are growing cabbage, radishes, pepper and a few tomatoes to see if they do as well outside as in the greenhouses, as a pilot program. We have also increased the number of women/men in this program since last year to help others in great need without another means of income.
The greenhouses were harvested, cleaned, fertilized and are now being prepared for another planting. They will plant tomatoes (2 kinds) and one greenhouse will hopefully be experimenting with Moringa, which is being endorsed by the Guatemalan Government to help fight malnutrition amongst the indigenous communities.
The mushroom farm “pilot” was such a success that we are creating a second building to house another farm. This farm will be run by the families of Chitaburuy, thereby helping 20 more families. The pilot produced enough mushrooms for a few of the families to try as well as sell to help fund and start up the second farm.
The Piggery. After the loss of the families pigs due to a disease throughout all of Guatemala whereby the Government ordered them to be slaughtered, the families were reluctant to buy more until their was a sufficient amount of time passed after the Government declared they were safe to buy again. Also if they purchased them too soon afterwards, no one would be willing to purchase them as they all continued to be very concerned and afraid that they disease would return and they would loose everything.
They saved their money and purchased a female pig/sow, Berta, so that they could produce their own piglets. Berta will soon be of age and size to have piglets soon and they will continue to grow their piggery in this manner.
Lastly, we now how the good fortune to have assistance from an Agronomist, Hugo. He just finished his degree and part of their official designation is to give back to the communities a min. of 100 hours of volunteer work after the formal education has been completed. He will be working with the mom’s in the Greenhouses and Garden Plots for the next several months. We are very thankful for his hard work and the knowledge he has been able to share with the mom’s and families that run these cooperatives.
As everyone knows, who has been to Guatemala, so much can happen in a day!
Copyright Loving Arms Charitable Corporation 2012 • Charity Registration 83310 4359 RR0001