The majority of the economic activity in our villages is based on agriculture. There is a small sector of service businesses as well as fishing, shrimp and salt farming in El Triunfo. As a result, we are focusing most of our activities as catalysts to bring about long term growth to the agricultural sector by reducing inputs, improving production methods, increasing yields and developing better markets. Over the years, we have used a variety of approaches to achieve this goal.
On many fall and spring trips we have Canadian farmers and agricultural professionals join our team. While in our four local villages they meet with farmers and walk the fields. Through sharing their expertise and stimulating conversation within the farming communities, they explore potential solutions for existing problems and develop strategies for moving their industry forward. We initiated Farmer Clubs in all of the villages and encourage their ongoing growth and development.
Over the years, we have partnered with local businesses and organizations as well as the University of San Carlos to provide learning opportunities for area farmers. We have arranged seminars during our visits. In our absence we've organized sessions at a nearby research facility, where university professors provide the teaching and then do follow up visits to the farms. The cost to send a farmer to school for a five day training program is $125.00.
Through the years, our Business Loans or Grants Program made funds available to local farmers, which provide the recipients with a step up toward success. Currently, the Loan/Grant money we have given in four villages, is now being managed by the local committees. We have also provided financial support to start eight pig projects in El Triunfo and several irrigation systems in Guajilote and Esperanza. Part of our lending program is also teaching the farmers how to track their income and expenses and developing a sense of accountability.
Guatamala Hope has arranged with the University of San Carlos to have students complete their required 10 month internship in one of our four villages. The students have worked with a variety of groups in the village to build their skills and knowledge base in the areas of crops, livestock, environment and nutrition. Delmy, one of our students completed a very thorough assessment of El Triunfo, which we will use to develop future programs in the village.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to all the trip volunteers and the many people here in Canada who have made all these accomplishments happen. You have truly given a gift of hope for generations to come. If you would like to participate or contribute to any of our programs, please contact us at