In August of 2014, ECHO established the Latin America/Caribbean Regional Impact Team. The goals of this team are to:

  • Make appropriate technical information more widely available among persons and organizations who serve to alleviate hunger and improve the lives of small-scale farmers.
  • Increase the awareness of regionally important crops, animal breeds and farming systems by seeking out, sharing and promoting effective indigenous innovations related to food sufficiency and poverty alleviation.
  • Increase the availability of seeds of select regionally important crops among development workers, encourage regional seed saving and sharing and determine the availability of other significant plant material.
  • Encourage networking and information sharing among development workers in each region.

Contact:

Email Address:

lac@echocommunity.org

17391 Durrance Road
North Fort Myers, FL 33917
United States of America

Telephone: +1.239.567.3322

Latin America / Caribbean Updates

ECHOcommunity Member Spotlight: Mr. Tuntun and Thaung Si 2020-04-08

Excerpt from a report by Patrick Trail – ECHO Asia

As I walk the farm with Mr. Tuntun in rural Myanmar, I can’t help but smile as he proudly shows me the biochar he now makes and uses in his potting mix for his fruit tree seedlings. Instead of burning, he now turns his organic waste material from the farm into a valuable resource that can be used to produce more crops, instead of losing his carbon to the atmosphere through smoke.

About one year ago, Mr. Tuntun attended a Seed Saving Workshop in Pyin Oo Lwin and learned how to make biochar during one of the hands-on sessions. He immediately returned home and tried it for himself, and has been very successful. Mr. Tuntun now even hosts a facebook page where he shares his farming techniques with other Burmese-speaking farmers, explaining practices like biochar, among others!

Thaung Si and TunTun

Thaung Si (left) and Tuntun (right) showing off sword bean seed that came from the ECHO Asia Seed Bank and is now being grown out to supply the seed bank there in Myanmar.

So much of what has happened here stems from our key partner in this region, Mr. Thaung Si. As a longtime friend and partner of ECHO Asia, Thaung Si has joined us for training events on numerous occasions and we have learned much from him as well. Three years ago he established a Community Seed Bank at the Lisu Baptist Theological Seminary. Through his seed bank he teaches agriculture and gardening practices to students, and has had a major impact on many lives, sowing seeds of many different types. It was here that Mr. Tuntun and nearly one hundred other local farmers and participants received the training in Biochar and other techniques last year, and Thaung Si follows up with them regularly.

The community of ECHO has many partners as dedicated as Thaunag Si throughout the region, and around the world. These partners, when well equipped, are capable of equipping so many more!

About Latin America / Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean is a region of deep contrasts. Over the past two decades there has been substantial social and economic growth, enabling some to make the leap from poverty and vulnerability to stability and relative middle class comfort. Infrastructure in most large cities is modern with reliable transportation systems connecting centers of trade. The landscape is dotted with shopping centers that host well known American businesses.

However, beginning at the edges of the modern cities one can see the acute symptoms of a widespread and destructive force; the crushing weight of hopelessness in the rural villages that are home to nearly half of the region’s population. Every year hundreds of rural families abandon farming as their traditional survival strategies are no longer sufficient to support even a meager existence.

47 million people in the region suffer from hunger and malnutrition, mainly women and children.  

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