“I had always wanted to help my family improve and go forward, but we were not able to,” Joaquín said.
Joaquín, a 36-year-old farmer from Patzún, Guatemala, is a father and a faithful participant in Convoy of Hope’s Agriculture program. Although he has been a farmer nearly all of his life, new tools and techniques from Convoy have helped him provide for his family of seven.
“I grew up with just my mom, and there were 11 of us kids,” Joaquín said. With his mom’s help, Joaquín began working the land to help provide for his mother and 10 siblings. “Only through farming have we been able to sustain ourselves.”
Over the years, his trade supported him and his family, but Joaquín was far from flourishing. If disease struck the crops, a downturn in the economy affected his ability to sell produce, or the harvest was not favorable, there wasn’t much for Joaquín to fall back on. There was little he could dream of beyond survival.
“We were struggling,” Joaquín said. “It was not producing enough for us. But now with Convoy, we are so happy because it really is helping us so much.”
Through Convoy of Hope’s Agriculture program, Joaquín learned how to plant new types of produce, how to market himself more effectively, and how to utilize new farming techniques to increase his yield and grow his business. Convoy also supplied Joaquín’s family with seeds, soil mix, and tools to help him start his new chapter.
A closer look into the soil, climate, and market showed that Joaquín could also increase his yields by adding radishes to his crops.
“We have sold radishes because this is the crop that produces the fastest and is most edible here locally,” he explained. “We sell it here in this community and we also go down to Patzún to sell them and to buy other things. It is helping my family a lot financially.”
Joaquín’s farm now produces a wide variety of crops for sale and for his family to eat.
“We were going through really hard times and were only able to plant broccoli,” Joaquín said. “But through Convoy, now we have chards, cilantro, radishes, [and] squash. Before we had doubts, and we did not think anything else could grow. But now we see that they can.”
Joaquín and his family now have an abundance of food and a new source of income.
“It is really a big blessing and you have done so much,” said Joaquín. “Through all of this, we have been having such happy times with our family because there is something that helps us; there is something that pushes us to keep going. Thank you so much.”
To learn more about Convoy of Hope’s Agriculture program, click here.