From time to time, Nimasac community groups have engaged Esperanza to solicit support for economic projects. Past projects have included improving farming practices, crop expansion, and women’s skill development.
Women's Sewing Project
A community Women’s Sewing Initiative was started at the request of women in the community. In 2018, a group of women partnered with Esperanza to develop a plan to start a cooperative sewing class. Women who knew how to sew would teach others and together, they would work to create local work opportunities.
In 2019, sewing machines and beginner supplies were purchased to support this community cooperative to advance women’s trade opportunities. Some instruction was offered.
Due to COVID 19, it was no longer prudent to continue the expansion of this program. The Esperanza Board will work with the community and staff to reevaluate the viability of this project at a later, appropriate time.
In 2015, farmers in the region sought Esperanza’s assistance in seeding new farming initiatives through crop expansion. Responding to their request, Cary Presbyterian Church’s Guatemala Mission Team, the forerunner and partner of Esperanza de Guatemala, funded an agricultural sustainability project to improve and expand growing crops. Before this project, the farmer’s only field crop was corn. “We didn’t know we could grow anything else at this altitude,” one farmer said. “We just grew what our fathers grew.” Chickens and a few pigs for meat were the only other agricultural products.
Esperanza secured the services of a Guatemalan agricultural engineer with experience in rural Guatemala. Offering one workshop a month, Edwar used a proven plan to educate and work with a dozen participants: men and women, younger farmers, and older farmers.
The workshop objectives focused on the following:
Producing more food (especially in crucial times); improving agro-ecological farm management; generating income; attaining and maintaining a healthy environment; improving food security; and achieving sustainabe farms.
One benefit of the program included the establishment of a system for saving money, which every farmer is required to do.
Field trips included visiting farms in the region who had already implemented the farming practices being taught.
Twelve farmers completed the program.
A ten-month series of workshops were offered:
Growing tomatoes and peppers under controlled conditions (using macrotunnels and greenhouses),
Crop Variances for summer and winter.
Introduction of potatoes, broccoli and cabbage to the region.
Proper management and improved production practices for chickens. Proper administration of vaccines for poultry, pigs, sheep and cows. Proper administration of drugs for livestock such as vitamins, minerals, wormers, and antibiotics.
Proper planting of corn varieties; disinfecting seeds, proper seed sowing and seed storage.