Barillas, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Size: 552 acres
Population: 100 families / 655 people
Ended Agros Support: 2013
In 2005, four different communities of Kanjobal families (a Mayan indigenous group) began organizing themselves to improve their lives. Most of the families had been living and farming on less than one acre of land in the Barillas region of Guatemala and were struggling to provide the basic needs for their families. Desiring land access, the separate groups began forming land committees and other leadership bodies to better represent and advocate for themselves. Families participated in various test loan projects with Agros, but lack of funding and a temporary moratorium on new Agros villages in Guatemala postponed the formal partnership with us. Finally, in October 2007, after passing through a lengthy family selection process, 100 families united to form what at the time was the largest Agros community.
The land purchased for this group is five miles away from the nearest Agros community and 13 miles away from the Barillas market, accessible through roads leading to the community. Crops planted by the previous owners such as cardamom, coffee, corn, beans, sugarcane, and plantains gave the newly-moved families a jumpstart on the growing season and the fertile soil and nearby water sources provides further opportunities for agricultural production. Families began to work and received technical assistance from Agros.