Digging to set foundations for the new classroom (notice the existing classroom and solar panels in the background). I know it looks like we are doing a lot of leaning on shovels, but trust me we all worked hard and got plenty of blisters. Some youth from the community were the hardest workers of all. They will be able to say they built their classroom with their own two hands.
The leaders of the community also seem more organized. They have a documented community plan and are working toward meeting the goals they have established. They are busy trying to raise money by selling cattle as a contribution for the project of bringing electric power to the community.
Back in 2009 I got to know Raul because he was one of our agriculture program promotors. He has a lot of good leadership skills, and he is still putting them to use. It was good to see a lot of the fruit trees we planted with Raul back in that time maturing and giving production. He has an experimental plot of corn using conservation agriculture principles that he learned from World-Renew / Diaconia Nacional. I was impressed at how much better this corn looked compared with a conventional plot just on the other side of the road.
The experimental plot of corn grown with plenty of compost and organic matter added to the soil
The corn right next door (50 feet away) looks stressed from lack of moisture
Raul is on the right with his daughter
It is clear that the partnership between El Coyolar and New West has made an impact on the people of El Coyolar and the people of New West over the past five years, and that the work Diaconia Nacional is doing in the community is helping people improve their livelihoods.
New West team cooking a special meal to share with the whole community (it was very good)
Landscape of the countryside of El Coyolar from a nearby hilltop