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Sponsor a Family, Change Lives! Meet Saul Gonzalez Merino!

Semilla Nueva has just introduced it’s newest, most intimate way to directly connect you with the farmers and families we work with. The membership program allows you to be part of a truly sustainable movement that helps a family learn and implement life-changing agricultural techniques.

For $20 a month, sponsorship helps farmers receive one on one training by Semilla Nueva staff, access new kinds of seed, and participate in our sustainable agriculture groups.Your sponsorship will help a family up to
double their income, protect their soils for future generations, improve their diet with more nutritious foods, and finally pass the gift on to other families in their community. You can learn more about the membership campaign on our website.

Today, we would like to introduce Saul Gonzalez Merino, one of the 80 farmers and families that needs sponsorship.

Meet Saul Gonzalez Merino

Saul and his granddaughter

When he was in his mid-twenties, Saul participated in the peaceful land reform marches of 1986. He marched alongside 16,000 other displaced and landless peasants to the national palace in Guatemala City. The peaceful resistance, march, and fasting finally caught the attention of the government. Saul, along with other landless peasants, was granted rights to his own land.

When they moved to Conrado de La Cruz, many farmers weren’t prepared for the hardships they would face. As a result, over half of the families left the community after the first year. However, Saul was determined to persevere, and his commitment paid off. He now farms a plethora of crops.

Saul saw that it wasn’t profitable to farm using the techniques he had been taught in his youth. He began to look for alternatives, and that’s when he found Semilla Nueva. Saul says, “I thank God for Semilla Nueva’s intervention, teaching us new ways to farm. I am spending less money and caring for our environment.”

Saul has been practicing conservation tillage for two years now and has recently begun planting pigeonpea seed. Reusing organic residues, like the leftover corn stalks, builds soil fertility and nutrient rich topsoil. Thus, Saul is able to save money on fertilizers and plowing. After seeing results on his own land, Saul has become one of our most vocal leaders for these new technologies in his community. He has invited his neighbors to see his crops, taught at Semilla Nueva conferences, and shared results and thoughts on development in meetings in other communities and Semilla Nueva events. In the July of 2012, nearly half a dozen farmers from Conrado all became interested in trying new Semilla Nueva techniques after a course taught by Saul. He has been a true promotor and an excellent example of what farmer to farmer education can mean.

Your sponsorship enables us to continue working with Saul, and together make an impact in his community.


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