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“Halfway up the Hill”

Location: Nebaj, Quiché, Guatemala

Size: 268 acres

Population: 131 families / 732 people

established: 2004

Ended Agros Support: 2011

The first inhabitants of Xeucalvitz arrived 200 years ago to colonize the land. They chose Sumal, which was one of the largest villages in the Nebaj region. These people came from the urban perimeter of Nebaj, but for monetary reasons they had to sell their land and homes, forcing them to emigrate to the villages.

Xeucalvitz means “land halfway up the hill,” which is exactly where the village is located. There are currently 131 families that live in the village, most of whom came from other nearby communities when fire and destruction forced them off their land during the armed conflict in the 80s. At this point, since the land has not been adequate to meet all of their needs, many families rent additional land in order to grow corn and beans to make a living. The community organized and continued to look for additional land on which to farm and build houses.

The community developed new agricultural and animal husbandry projects that allowed them to improve and transform their lives. Agros began working with the community and was able to help them finalize their land purchase in 2003. Since that time, they worked to increase coffee production and diversify other crops.