CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Plan Fertilizante in Santa María de Jesús, Guatemala

This past weekend GVI Phoenix conducted its second annual Plan Fertilizante (Fertilizer Plan) in Santa María de Jesús, an alternative to micro-credit, where no actual money is involved, rather physical products.

The agricultural areas our families have to grow crops is of a very poor quality and need constant additions. Not only in the past 2 years have crops failed two times out of three, though when the harvest does yield, it is of poor quality.

Obviously, in times gone by, the families used chemicals to enhance the soil, which is neither sustainable and the prices have doubled over the past year, leaving the soil in a worse state, and no income.

For soil sustainability and recuperation, and indeed, better crop yields, we opted for an organic fertilizer from Amatitlán. Informal trials have proven that this fertilizer gives a considerable extra growth to the crops.

Our Plan Fertilizante distributed 600 pounds (275 kilos) to each of our 135 families involved in the GVI Phoenix school, or to put it in bigger terms, 81,000 pounds (36,818 kilos) or 36 tonnes of organic fertilizer.

This is not a handout, as the families have to comply with a couple of rules to enforce parental responsibility. The first and foremost is that their child or children must be in the school with us every day.

The second is that, in exchange for the fertilizer, they must give some products for the Plan Ancianos (Old People's Plan) which we run, which include cooking oil, pasta, beans, rice and sugar on receipt.

Furthermore, after each successful crop, they must repeat this, thereby helping towards the Plan Ancianos, and also "repaying" the fertilizer.

It was a great day, and with crop yields dwindling due to poor soil, this can restart the local agricultural region, whilst providing the families with a little extra income with better crop yields whilst also contributing to the Plan Ancianos.

Sustainable development is just that, kickstartng the local economy, though also keeping an eye on the future, whilst maintaining responsibilty for the present with all parties involved, GVI Phoenix, the parents and the children.


How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects