Huertos para la Vida (Gardens for Life)
Initiated in 2011, Huertos para la Vida (Gardens for Life) is a component of a school-based program, targeted at children and their families who live in highly marginalized communities in Central Oaxaca. Our participants are among the poorest in Mexico, living with numerous risks due to inadequate nutrition and exposure to environmental contaminants. Many eat poorly, consuming large quantities of cheap, filling, highly processed foods, rather than fresh produce, which is limited due to their families’ subsistence budgets.
With the technical and modest financial assistance of SiKanda, local schools and school-based community centers provide space and time for building small garden plots. The children and their teachers are involved in all stages of planning. Everyone helps in preparing the site, including the beds, protective fencing and the soil. Hardy, fast-growing and productive plants are used, in order to ensure the best results possible: clear and rapid rewards for weeding and watering. When harvested, the vegetables—and a sense of accomplishment—are shared among students and teachers. Throughout the process, SiKanda provides educational talks, to relate the composting and gardening process to the lives—and health—of the children.
The long-term objective of the program is to foster health and food security through education and hands-on skill-building activities, including the building, maintaining and harvesting of organic gardens. Through the gardening component, over 180 students of two rural communities have benefited directly from these activities—educationally and nutritionally. In the short term, they gain knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating; garden-building and tending skills; satisfaction in watching their work bear fruit; and the opportunity to enjoy more fresh vegetables.
With the proposed funding, SiKanda will add to the existing project an additional community garden, serving children and families from two marginalized communities in the Monte Alban neighborhood of the City of Oaxaca.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
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