Wednesday, July 15, 2015

An introduction to Urban Agriculture in La Paz and El Alto

Arriving in La Paz was an experience in itself, the attitude combined with the an powerful sunlight and the breath taking views of the mountains made for intense arrival in the city we would be calling home for the next ten weeks. 

We have been in the Bolivia for almost two weeks now and in that time we have learnt about our projects, met our team leaders, fellow volunteers and our delightful host families, as well as forming expectations of what we want to achieve from this project.

I am part of the Urban Agriculture group which has four main topics of focus, nutrition, commercialization, construction and strengthening the links within APU, one of the partners that we work closely with. During the two weeks we have been here, we have learnt about our partners Focapaci and the work they do within the city and how we can work with them in achieving desired goals. We have research ideas and selected our main goals of what we want to achieve as a group within the time we are here, with one of our main focuses being the commercialization side, with greater time being given to facebook and the social media aspect of the businesses, so once this project ends they will have an established on-line presence which will hopefully expand their market. A second main aim we have created as a group is to promote the weekly ecological market at Casa de Los Ningunos, which sells the ecological food produced by the groups within Focapaci , if this market can become successful and people of La Paz are encourage to buy ecological food this will have a huge impact both on the increased nutrition of civilians and will empower the female producers and make sure they earn a decent living.

As well as researching and discussing ideas for the projects future, we have also participated in numerous practical activities as a group. We have visited EL Alto twice, a place much larger than I thought it would be and markets that stretch for miles with almost everything on sale, where we learnt how to create a vegetable patch and plant different fruit and vegetables in the correct manor so we can then move on and reproduce this with other families. We have also spent a day working in the community gardens in fundacion alternativa, where we spent the day, sawing wood, planting vegetables and tidying the plots, it was exhausting but rewarding work.

With the project only just beginning and the majority of time still to come, I am looking forward to what is ahead of us both personally and as part of the Urban Agriculture group. I believe we can truly make a positive impact and be apart of increasing awareness surrounding nutrition and help the women of Focapaci expand their markets and achieve an independent and livable salary. 

Bring on the next eight weeks!


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