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La Esperanza

“The Hope”

Location: Cotzal, Quiché, Guatemala

Size: 57 acres

Population: 25 families / 165 families

established: 2000

Ended Agros Support: 2007

We acquired title to the land of Suchiquil located two kilometers from the municipal capital of Cotzal in September 2000. Since then, Agros hired a contractor to identify the property’s borders and purchased rights to a water source to provide potable and irrigation water for the community.

The families are originally from the Cotzal area and suffered internal displacement as a result of the violence of the 1980s. They became aware of Agros after observing the progress of the Agros villages Los Angeles, El Paraíso, La Bendición and Belén, all located in the Ixil region. The families returned to live in the Cotzal region a number of years ago, sharing houses with relatives, friends and members of their Christian congregation.

Some of the families rented rooms or small plots of agricultural land in exchange for physical labor. Much of the male population works on coffee and sugar plantations in the region or on the southern coast for a period four months each year in order to subsidize their family incomes. The remaining eight months of the year are dedicated entirely to the cultivation of corn and beans. As a result of our work, these families will be able to break out of the cycle of migrant labor and move from subsistence farming to new farming techniques and agricultural methodologies. Community members are currently in the loan repayment process and working to diversify their crops.