Building livelihood alternatives in the Petén of Guatemala
Supporting peasant organizations involved in a network of organic mini-markets to develop a local savings and loans in the Petén of Guatemala (implemented by Asociación solidaria de acción y propuesta de Petén; Nominator Andrea Finger-Stich)
This initiative takes place in the Maya biosphere reserve of Guatemala, at the borders with Mexico and Belize, a showcase of biodiversity severely threatened by the advance of large livestock farms, soybean and palm oil monocultures, oil extraction, large infrastructural projects (communication, transport, tourism, hydroelectricity), illicit trafficking and military operations. Agro-ecological crops of small farmers in the area of multiple use of the biosphere reserves are, of course, threatened and the ASAPP association has been active for years to protect them as part of a “life plan” alternative with respect to the destructive exploitation of nature and human values.
With the support of the PKF Foundation, ASAPP will nourish the capacities of local communities in Petén so that they will plan and implement their own local Savings and Loans in the villages of San José and San Andrés following the principles of solidarity economy. A member of ASAPP has been trained in Ecuador through an exchange visit with the cooperative Jardin Azuayo. She is now assisting in the setting up of a local committee responsible for the local Savings and Loans, which will engage the communities and in particular women, the youth and indigenous peoples (Itza). The committee will develop all the relevant norms and rules of the financial operation and start its functioning in 2012, maintaining close learning exchanges with other micro-credit initiatives in Guatemala and other countries. ASAPP will accompany the process through participatory action research and diffusion of information.