International Ministries

Women’s Garden Project Update

September 27, 2011 Journal
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Chiapas, Mexico June, 2011

Thumbnail_gp_1       What a joy to drive into La Ceyba and see green.  With the generous help of American Baptist Women, the family garden project of Maranatha Baptist Church is well on its way to self-sufficiency as the harvest continues in the second planting cycle.  Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, lettuce, beets, squash, onions, tomatillos, chilies and nopal cactus have enriched the diets and improved the nutrition of the families of the 24 women who are now participating in the program.  The Baptist women of this Tseltal-Mayanvillage are proud of their neat gardens that are changing the look of their community. 

Two very exciting things have happened as a result of this 18 month old project.  First, several women in the community who are not part of the project have never-the-less learned from the Baptist women and have planted their own gardens without financial help.  The second is that plans are set for a team from La Ceyba to reproduce the project in a second community, Chacacal, in January of 2012.  This September IM missionary, Doris Mayol and a team from the Intercultural Mayan Seminary, will join Ramona and I in La Ceyba for a two day training and evaluation event.  This will include Bible study, technical and organizational training, and project evaluation.  As the garden project becomes self-sustaining, we will be exploring with the women possible new projects they may undertake to further improve their lives and community.

On June 13 we celebrated a second food fair with Yoli Martinez and her helpers from San Cristobal de Las Casas.  What a great day of learning new recipes using soya and produce from the gardens and even home-made low fat sausage (chorizo).  The men and children hung around to test the results.  Life is hard in La Ceyba but it’s a little better now.  God is good!

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--  Ramona  & Chuck