Last month, I had a very special opportunity to check in on some of our projects in Ecuador. I was taken aback by how much the community has accomplished since we first started our work in the country over 20 years ago. Seeing all the progress that had taken place since my last visit, I had some time to reflect on the journey we’ve taken to get here. From our humble beginnings in the Chimborazo province, we have since expanded our work to rural communities throughout the Amazon and continue to grow our impact in partnership with communities in a deeply meaningful way.
From the rehabilitation of the Mondaña Health Clinic, to the creation of a new Women’s Empowerment Centre for artisan groups, to the construction of hundreds of school spaces, to clean water projects, our collaboration with community members and local governments has made an incredible impact.
Two years ago, we were so proud to complete construction on a robust training facility called the WE Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) – a space dedicated to supporting farmers improve the productivity of their crops and the quality of their harvests, allowing them to make a living and support their families.
Through the WE ALC and its emphasis on education and sustainability, farmers go through a transformational program that teaches agricultural resiliency through crop diversification and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices to protect the important Amazon region.
At the center, farmers participate in a facilitated, multi-faceted experience to gain a holistic view and understanding of the farming process. From preparing the field, planting, harvesting, and selling crops, to the sales and distribution models that can be sucessful – farmers are not only given the necessary skills and training, but the confidence to run a truly sustainable and successful farm.
Today, the impact of this work has created an incredibly promising picture for the future of agriculture and food security for many communities in the Amazon. The center and its programming have encouraged a growing number of farmers to participate and make a significant difference for their farms, increasing sources of nutritious food and giving families the opportunity for a brighter future.