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Our Story

The story of Agros began in 1984 in Guatemala: in the mountainous Ixil triangle where impoverished families were emerging from hiding to rebuild their lives after a heinous civil war.

A man named Skip Li, a young Chinese lawyer living in Seattle, had been called several years earlier to go to Guatemala. Hearing a Latino missionary speak of the desperate need for land access among the peasant farmers of Central America, he leaned in. The seeds of Agros, and the vision to reunite impoverished farmers with the land that was their livelihood and birthright, were planted.

Skip traveled to Guatemala, and by 1984 began rebuilding the first Agros community in a tiny rural village decimated by war. His dream grew to encompass a plan to offer families a fair opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty through a longterm partnership with local staff specializing in a program of land access, agricultural training, financial empowerment, preventative healthcare, and educational access.

Our vision then, as today, was to repair the network of relationships that enable individuals to live dignified and healthy lives within thriving communities - relationships that poverty, exacerbated by civil war, had severed.

Today, we have helped more than 10,000 individuals build new lives for themselves by facilitating land ownership and providing technical assistance, training, capital loans, and village infrastructure to support the work and vision of community members.

We partner with a variety of national and international development organizations. These alliances along with the Agros in-country and U.S. staff maintain a strong commitment to the accountability and success of Agros’ villages. Agros’ genuine commitment to providing hope and opportunity to the rural poor through private land reform has earned the trust of the people we serve.

For more information on our history, check out the book "Buy This Land" written by Agros' founder Chi-Dooh "Skip" Li.

 

Corner of a frame structure

Close up of plantains growing

Tomatoes growing on both side of the row