Project: Providing landless indigenous families with land
Contributing $100 we are able to provide an indigenous family with a piece of land big enough to build a basic housing unit.
A Brief Summary of the Background:
Some of the biggest challenges in Guatemala are the demographic explosion and the lack of access to land. Indigenous communities are generally large and their average size is seven to nine family members. An issue for many families is that when children reach adolescence, they either get together or married and want to have a piece of land to start their own home and grow their own crops. Due to the lack of space where their parents and grandparents worked and lived, they are often forced to emigrate. As a result, they have to either borrow land to cultivate or migrate to urban areas in search of new opportunities. Their lack of education hinders their development, barely allowing them to survive.
In Guatemala, there is a government institution, Fondo de Tierras (Fund for Land) whose main purpose is buying farms for indigenous communities. Although they do buy some farms, their limited resources never allow them to meet the demand.
When a community gains access to land and is organized in Community Development Councils (COCODE, according to their Spanish initials), it is able to access infrastructure programs, productive projects, education, and health.
Several neighboring communities have acquired land and they have been granted training courses, supplies, and machinery to process their own agricultural products, such as coffee and cardamom and thus, a higher added value.
They have also diversified and made some progress in apiaries, forest and poultry products; thus they do not depend only on agriculture, which can be affected by price fluctuations, pests or diseases, and allows them to maintain a balance in their economy.
With $100 we can buy a parcel of land big enough to build a basic housing unit for a family.
A hectare of land can be bought for $2,000, to develop productive projects.
The goal is reaching 50 families and providing them with 2.5 hectares per family, taking into account the communal areas: schools, roads, forest area for firewood, water sources, etc.
The objective is buying 150 hectares.
The investment goal is $300,000.
With the money received a revolving fund is created to be used in the same community for farming and generating income to improve infrastructure, schools, acquire supplies, etc., creating thus a sustainable economy.
The families to benefit from the parcels of land are located in the Municipality of Tucuru, Alta Verapaz, to the north of Guatemala, one of the problem regions of the country, due to the lack of access to land.