Food Farm for Children in Mexico

What does it take to bring about positive change, hope, motivation to a deeply impoverished area?  This is a question I have pondered for the last four years working as a volunteer in indigenous villages on the shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest lake.  Clearly, a  magic bullet does not exist but I believe there is a starting place: foster, encourage, support self-sustainability. When a village  has a way to grow food and feed its own people, it is the beginning of hope, self-respect, and health.

Currently, the villages are mired in a negative cycle of poverty where most adults work outside of the villages for meager wages. Malnutrition is rampant among children. In addition to coping with all of the conditions that are a consequence of poverty, the area also has the dubious distinction of having one of the highest rates of childhood kidney disease in the world. Chronic malnutrition is a risk factor for the disease.    

Three years ago a group called Poco a Poco San Pedro Itzican (www.pocoapocosanpedro.com) started a program called Cocina Para Ninos to begin to address the problem of chronic malnutrition among village children.  The program began by giving 80 children a meal 5 days a week and has grown to giving over 700 children a meal 5 days a week in 6 different neighborhoods.  The program has built kitchens where village women cook and shelters where children gather for meals.   

The tremendous growth of Cocina Para Ninos is due to the support of another amazing organization called FoodBank Lakeside (www.foodbanklakeside.org) that provides money to buy food while Poco a Poco continues to administer the program. Together we are now ready and excited to take the next step to alleviate hunger in these villages by providing resources and support for the villages to grow their own food.   

We are asking for your support to start what we are calling a FoodFarm where food will be grown initially for the Cocina Para Ninos program.  Our goal is to begin to replace what is now bought with what is grown.  Our ultimate measure of success will be to step aside once enough food is consistently grown.  

We have been given the opportunity for a great start with a large piece of donated land with a warehouse and a donation of a variety of organic heirloom seeds.  We will start growing food in Eco Huerto boxes (www.ecohuertomx.com).  These boxes come with rich soil, take about half the water of plants grown in the ground, and will enable us to produce pesticide free vegetables.  We will progress as we have funds, planting some crops in the ground, planting trees, raising chickens and producing honey. Villagers will be trained and then paid to grow and harvest and replant. We will engage as many children as possible so the next generation understands how to grow food. As you will see in the video, there is a large warehouse on the land that we will  make useable by repairing the bathrooms and creating smaller areas in the warehouse that can be used for classes and workshops.

 It is a project whose time has come.  Self-sustainability in an uncertain world is vital, especially for those who are most vulnerable.  There is a way to extend a hand that creates positive lasting change and, if we all support such efforts, they will happen.

 Please watch the video and see what we are up to.  We greatly appreciate any support you may be able to offer.

 Here is what we need to get the FoodFarm started and also to maintain the infrastructure of  Cocina Para Ninos

100 Eco Huerto Boxes with soil and fertilizer      $3000
Garden tools   $   500
Used pick-up truck     $5000

Metal stands for boxes to keep them off the ground and away from pests    $1500
Repairs to warehouse bathrooms    $1000
Repairs to outdoor kitchen     $400
Total    $11,700

Wage for village farmer to take care of the FoodFarm           
 $ 300/month for 6 months = $1,800

 Maintenance and improvement fund for Cocina Para Ninos locations.  There are always benches that break, tables to replace, etc. Also, we need to improve some of the current kitchens and dining areas by, for example, adding better places for children to wash hands before and after meals    $11,500

 Total to establish FoodFarm and maintain infrastructure of Cocina Para Ninos locations                  $25,000       

Thank you so much!
  • Liam McClintock 
    • $1,000 
    • 2 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 7 d
  • Patricia Moran 
    • $950 
    • 8 d
  • Osvaldo Rance Cachafeiro 
    • $200 
    • 12 d
  • Anne McMillan 
    • $100 
    • 13 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Kristin Killops 
Organizer
Portland, OR
Patricia Moran 
Beneficiary