by Julie Brod
This morning after eating French toast, we were introduced to two local agriculturalists about the projects we will be involved with during our stay in Chajul. They spoke on Chajul’s current agricultural situation and the struggles the locals face in crop production.
One of the difficulties that local Guatemalans face when dealing with diversifying crop production is their families limited income. Other government programs have stressed the importance of incorporating more or different varieties of crops in their field operations. However, they have not been successful because people are unwilling to invest their money into new crops when their is not a model of diversity in their community.
Often locals have to see other locals doing the same practice, or else they will refer back to their original and older traditions of farming. This is where they have found that finding successful leaders within the community will help sustain the new agricultural practices the government wishes to implement.
This information has given our group a much broader understanding of agriculture in Chajul.
Eating lunch in locals’ homes has put into perspective the challenges that Guatemalan women face on a daily basis regarding cooking and cleaning for their families.
In the evening, we discussed how different our lives are from Guatemalans. We discussed what we had seen and heard over the past few days in Chajul.
Truly, we have all been touched by our experiences here. It is our hope to touch the people of Chajul as they have touched us in our short stay here.