Training the Trainers at HI Mexico

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At the beginning of March, HI Mexico hosted a special three-day workshop to train another local non-profit organization in organic growing methods.

Preparing materials for layering in the compost pile.

The local branch of Fondo para Niños de México, which is the Mexican arm of ChildFund International, found out about HI Mexico’s work with sustainable agriculture in the Sierra Norte via the new HI Mexico website. Located in Huehuetla, a town approximately 45 minutes from Jonotla, this chapter of Fondo para Niños employs 20 teachers who each work with 3-4 families. The mission of the organization is to guide parents, particularly mothers, in the knowledge and skills necessary to provide proper nutrition, safety, and hygiene for their young children.

Members of the Fondo para Niños group filmed throughout the course for internal training purposes.

HI Mexico was hired to educate the teachers about raised bed organic vegetable cultivation, so that they could help their participating families grow healthy, nutritious food in household gardens. All 20 teachers participated in the hands-on training, practicing techniques for constructing raised beds, companion planting and adding diversity in the garden, advanced composting techniques, and contour planting for efficient growing on sloped lands.

Class participants practice using a simple A-frame to find contour lines for planting on slopes.

Demarcating the ideal spacing to transplant tomatoes.

In addition to facilitating daily workshops on the Demonstration Farm, HI Mexico hosted the group in the residential home and hired a local family to provide meals.

By working with teachers, HI Mexico is rapidly expanding its reach and impact in the rural communities of the Sierra Norte. The information from this one class will eventually reach as many as 80 families in the region — it’s very exciting to see this ripple effect in action!  In addition, the training course served to build an important relationship that will continue into the future, as well as contributied revenue towards the financial self-sufficiency of the HI Mexico community center.

Participants in the workshop had a lot of positive feedback for the staff at HI Mexico, stating that they would like to return for further training. Fondo para Niños has many other chapters throughout Mexico, and following the success of this first training, hopes to bring employees of other branches to work with HI Mexico. The satisfaction of the completed workshop is augmented by the hope that by helping to improve the local program in the Sierra Norte, HI Mexico may be able to contribute to improvements in the larger nutrition program, which affects the lives of people around the world.

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