“Little Red Bird”
Location: Cotzal, Quiché, Guatemala
Size: 62 acres
Population: 111 families / 504 people
Ended Agros Support: 2011
We acquired title to a plot of land called Tuchoc in October 2000, located four miles from the municipal capital of Cotzal. During the violence of the 1980s, many families suffered from the burning and destruction of their villages, assassinations, persecution and exile. The surviving families relocated to Cotzal, which was considered relatively safe, and moved in with family and friends. After the war was over, families began to return to the community of Cajixay.
Today 111 families live in Cajixay. The community provides basic services such as potable water, an elementary school, simple homes and access roads. However, most families live well below the poverty level and lack the basic resources and skills to move themselves out of poverty.
We began to facilitate a process of community organization and leadership development in Cajixay. The neediest families were identified to receive agricultural land from Tuchoc, a plot of land purchased in 2000, and all families in the community participated in agricultural training. As a result, the families improved their food security and learnied to grow and market new produce for income. Villagers continue to repay their land loans.