Location: Comitan, Chiapas, Mexico
Size: 186 acres
Population: 22 families / 145 people
Primary Activities: Basic grains, plantains, coffee, tomatoes, chilis, cilantro, broccoli, pumpkins, and radishes
This is the second Agros community to be established near the town of Comitan, in Chiapas close to the Mexican-Guatemalan border. The families of Nueva Ilusión are predominately Kanjobal and Chuj, originating from the Ixcan region of Guatemala, just over the Mexican border.
During the civil war in Guatemala (1970s – 1990s), violence spread throughout the countryside, burning homes and fields and killing innocent families in quiet mountainside communities. As a result, many Guatemalan families, like those from neighboring Agros community Santa Fe Ajké, fled to Mexico for refuge. While they found respite from the war, they have nevertheless struggled to survive amidst discrimination, racism, neglect, and extreme poverty.
Over twenty-five years later, the families in Nueva Ilusión began a new chapter in their lives. Having carried their cultural knowledge across borders and generations, they were excited to have the opportunity to have land on which they will live, work, raise their families in safety, and own themselves. There were several existing acres of organic coffee on the land, and the families set a goal to reach a total of over 100 acres of certified organic coffee on the property. The families are also raising onions, jalapeños, plantains and beans. The families are well organized and have a high level of participation together on a variety of projects.
As the name they chose states, they see this as the opportunity to fulfill their dreams… dreams to have land on which to produce and generate income, dreams to learn new production techniques, dreams to raise animals, learn to read and write, and to send their children to school.