TREES AND SUPPORTING PLANTS
TOTAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS IMPACTED
Ixil Triangle, Guatemala
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Maya Ixil is a cooperative of 200 small-scale indigenous coffee farmers in the Ixil Triangle, a grouping of communities in the northwestern highlands of Guatemala. The project works with 200 members of this indigenous cooperative to establish trees and plants on their family farms that will serve as coffee shade trees and food for bees, while supporting organic food production and more biodiverse farms.
In 2015, Food 4 Farmers and Maya Ixil established a beekeeping program to generate income for families, promote environmental resiliency and contribute to food security goals. This project will help Maya Ixil beekeepers and other members use agroecological practices to establish and sustain agroforestry systems on their coffee farms, grow food for their families, sell or trade excess crops from their farms, save seeds, improve soil nutrition, reduce erosion, and conserve water.
Planting 42,4000 trees and cover-crops on 200 farms will reduce food insecurity, improve the environment and support bees and farmers! Honey bees consume nectar from certain fruit trees, whose availability will increase consumption of fruits among families. The project will support tree planting, establishing composting and erosion mitigation for each farm, providing food security education, and tree management training and support.
Maya Ixil is a cooperative of 200 small-scale indigenous coffee farmers in the Ixil Triangle, a grouping of communities in the northwestern highlands of Guatemala. The organization was established in 1998 by 28 farmers seeking better access to markets and applying agroecological and organic practices on their farms. Though Maya Ixil farmers produce highly sought after organic coffee, their farms are quite small and most farming families live on $0.44 per person per day – far below the Global Poverty Line of $1.90. To address these chronic shortcomings, the cooperative started new beekeeping businesses to generate income for families, promote environmental resiliency and contribute to food security goals.
Food 4 Farmers was created to help fill the gap between income provided by current coffee standards and certifications, and the income required to build a better quality of life for coffee farmers, their families and communities. They work with coffee farmers to develop long-term food security strategies that address seasonal hunger and help families build a more secure and diverse economic foundation. Food 4 Farmers has worked with Maya Ixil since 2014 to develop beekeeping as a food security and livelihood strategy, and is now working with Grow Ahead to support the expansion of home gardens to all families at the co-op.