Location: El Tuma, Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Size: 313 acres
Population: 50 families
Primary Activities: Coffee, vegetables, basic grains, tubers
In fall of 2014, Agros set out to find a suitable piece of land for development using a new set of criteria that assessed soil composition, water viability, and market access as well as the socio-political climate. We found a property called El Ojoche, land in use as an aging coffee cooperative, with a number of families living and working on the property.
We invited those families, who would be displaced by the sale of the property, as well as members of nearby communities like El Carmen, Rancho Grande and Las Delicias, to join in rebuilding the fertile land as a new self-governed community of land-owning farmers.
50 families, some occupying existing buildings on site and others commuting from their villages, began sowing their first subsistence crop of corn in the spring of 2015. Using technical agricultural practices under the guidance of Agros agronomists, they saw their harvests more than double. With production underway, families elected their first community board, established bylaws, began training the first group of healthcare volunteers (brigadistas), and initiated savings groups.
In spring of 2016, the families constructed 50 dignified concrete homes to begin the next important phase of living in community as they plant high-value coffee and other diverse crops and strengthen their fledging community systems and organizations.