As you dig in the soil this spring, we invite you to take a few moments each Friday to meet one of your fellow farmers.

(MCC Photo/Michael Chapman)

In the northern Guatemalan department of Quiche, Feliciana Herrera plants avocado trees. MCC and partner Fundamaya are helping Herrera and other Mayan Ixil youth establish themselves as small farmers – a way of gaining income and finding alternatives to migration.

The youth organize their time to work together in xula, a traditional Ixil practice of working collectively on different people’s land instead of each person working on his or her own. At the end of 2014, Fundamaya held its first farming contest exclusively for Ixil youth, using factors such as the diversity and quantity of crops sown, the number of projects for soil and water conservation and the welfare of livestock. Herrera was one of three female farmers among the five finalists.

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