Climate Change & Sustainable Agriculture Workshop for Bolivian Farmers
21 farmers participated in a 2-day workshop a few days ago at Mano a Mano’s Center for Ecological Agriculture (CEA) in Cochabamba, Bolivia to learn about topics related to climate change and sustainable agriculture. The purpose of the CEA is to provide low-cost, low-tech training & tools to rural Bolivian farmers to improve nutrition and well-being for their families; training workshops like these are one way we meet this goal.
With the current drought in Bolivia, projects related to climate change, agriculture, and water are becoming more and more important.
Center for Ecological Agriculture
Learn More About the Center for Ecological Agriculture
- Overview of the CEA – Why Did We Build It?
- More than 1,000 people have visited the Center for Ecological Agriculture in 2016
- 104 greenhouses built in Tapacari, Bolivia (March 2016)
- Working at the Center for Ecological Agriculture with international volunteers (August 2016)
- Distributing donated medical supplies at the Mano a Mano warehouse onsite with the Center for Ecological Agriculture (October 2016)
Why Did We Build the CEA?
At its base, Mano a Mano is a community development organization:
- We partner with Bolivian communities on projects that they identify, focusing on the most basic needs that are currently going unmet.
- We bring many different people together to complete projects that none of us could do on our own.
- We focus on projects that are sustainable – we maintain strong relationships with communities but we try to help people help themselves and have them take control and ownership of projects. Ongoing maintenance and administration are handled by the communities.
- We want our projects to be integrated and serve as springboards for other projects – sometimes through more projects with Mano a Mano, and sometimes through the Bolivian government or other organizations who build upon the base provided through our first project. For example:
- With Mano a Mano’s 37-mile El Palmar road project that was completed in late 2014, the Bolivian government is taking advantage of the improved transportation and is currently building 3 new bridges, a school, new housing, and installing electricity along the road.
- Often, when Mano a Mano builds a clinic, it is the first project in the community, with the understanding that if the community and local government meet their obligations and do well Mano a Mano will continue working with the community on other projects like schools and community bathrooms.
- The first implementation project with the CEA – building greenhouses in Jironkota – builds on the clinic that Mano a Mano completed there in 2013.
The CEA was a natural addition and complements many of our existing initiatives, while filling a need that was not being met with our previous projects. To give just one example, the clinic we have in Jironkota provides healthcare access for the area, but does not address some of the basic issues that cause rural Bolivian farmers to get sick in the first place – primarily nutrition and food security.