Partnership of the Americas - Vermont/Honduras Partnership

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Honduras: Peace Corps Honduras: Peace Corps in Honduras: Partnership of the Americas - Vermont/Honduras Partnership

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 6:42 pm: Edit Post

Partnership of the Americas - Vermont/Honduras Partnership

Partnership of the Americas - Vermont/Honduras Partnership

Peace Corps Collaboration
Participating Organization(s): Peace Corps Honduras
Location: country-wide

Volunteers are recruited regularly for work with Peace Corps Honduras related projects. Activities have included organic seed saving and grape production.

Volunteer(s): Brian Fitzpatrick
Activity: Grape Production
Dates: July 26 - August 7, 1998
Trip Report

Volunteer(s): Tom Stearns
Activity: Seed Saving
Dates: Fall 1997
Trip Report

(Last updated: September 1998)

Progress Report

Mid-Year (September 1998)

APPLES: Organization of apple growers training workshops for all Honduran apple growers are in progress, we have completed a survey of the apple growers in Honduras and representatives from each group will be invited to the workshops. We are planning 2, 4-5 day training workshops in November, one in the La Esperanza area and the other to be decided. The major topics of the workshop will be: improving apple color, harvesting and post-harvest handling, and increasing tree vigor (these themes are subject to input from Jim and Nick).

Jim Gallott is available to come down in November (15-25) and he is looking for a second volunteer.

FOOD PROCESSING: The food processing machinery is now working well. Aldea Global is negotiating with a European company interested in buying processed fruit.

There is now a need for 1-2 volunteers who can help set up production lines and work on production processing problems. Brian Norder, Project Coordinator, Vermont Food Venture Center, a multi-tech center that helps value added food producers develop and market their projects, is very willing to work with PAG was very interested in coming down in November-January, he could identify another person to work with him. Attach project description.

AGRO FORESTRY: Kim Batchelder, FTF Volunteer had a very successful visit with Honduras Siempre Verde. HSV works with cooperatives and organized groups of wood cutters who cut lumber using methods approved by Smart Wood for certification. HSV is a growing organization and the FTF project is working with them on organizational strengthening and agro-forestry. In addition to requesting specific volunteers to work with HSV, the FTF project will invite agriculture promoters working with HSV to the sustainable agriculture workshops.

Prior to departure from Honduras, Kim prepared a 6 month calendar to coordinate all follow-up activities with Honduras Siempre Verde. There are three overriding components requiring follow-up: 1) funding proposals and continued dialogue with donor organizations; 2) training initiatives; and, 3) certification-related activities. In addition, there are other areas that HSV needs assistance in, such as administrative design, institutional development, and fundraising. A FTF volunteer with excellent writing skills and experience in preparing large grant proposals would be an appropriate fit for HSV.

U.S. specialists in training, forest certification or low-impact logging could be a nice complement to the Honduran professionals who will form the base of instructors. Again, these specialists could be enticed to join the team via the FTF program. An expert in administrative design, communications and institutional development would be an ideal candidate for future FTF exchanges.

Specialists in marketing campaigns, wood milling, logging and chain saw operations or harvesting practices would all be valuable assets from a future FTF volunteer exchange.

During this year we anticipate fielding 1-2 more volunteers to HSV.

ORGANIC GROWING: There is a lot of interest in all topics related to organic/ sustainable agriculture. To get this project off the ground we plan to hold 2, week long training workshops "Strengthening Organic Principles" one in the south-central part of the country and the other in the northern part of the country. The following themes will work well for the first workshop:

* organic agriculture, what is it?

* soil analysis, soil fertility

* organic soil building

* organic vegetable production

* pest management

* seed saving

* basic tools for org. ag.

Best time November or early December. Ron Krup is available Oct. on, Grace Gershuny available Nov. Tom Sterns, Seed Saver, would also be good volunteer.

AGRO-ECOLOGY: The first Honduran Conservation Corps camp was successfully completed January 1998. 23 volunteers from around the country participated. The group worked on environmental projects, agricultural projects, and community education projects. Another camp is being planned for later this year and week end activities are being planned by the corps members.

An FTF volunteer is needed for this project, someone willing to live in a camp setting and teaching agro-forestry, flora and fauna identification, organic agriculture, utilizing forest products for human consumption (a Uhel Gibbons, Stalking the Wild Asparagus type), and recycling waste at the small community level. The Vermont Conservation Corps, and the Volunteers for Peace program (Belmont, Vt.).

PEACE CORPS: The first grape volunteer, Brian Fitzpatrick just completed his first assignment with Peace Corps. Peace Corps is planning a second volunteer request as a follow-up to this project.

In 1998 we anticipate fielding an additional 2 volunteers for this project. Ken Alpert is a Vt. vol. Interested in this project.

Fundacion Hondurena Investigaciones Agricola (FHIA): FHIA is interested in a number of volunteers. To get started with FHIA we are working with them on apples and will invite them to take part in the sustainable agriculture workshops and in the food processing assignment. The following are topics they have expressed specific interest in:

* Producción de semilla,

* Especialista en maíz dulce,

* Especialista en vegatales orgánicos,

* Voluntarios en irrigación,

* Especialista en refrigeración.

COFFEE PROJECT: This is a new project that will provide technical assistance to groups of women who live in "zonas Cafetaleras" coffee growing areas. This project will be carried out through the Fundacion pare el Desarrollo de las Comunidades Cafetaleras (The Foundation for the Development of communities of coffee growers) These coffee growers are small scale, often impoverished people who produce coffee in small quantities and are forced to sell their coffee through middle-men. The grower's families are trying to start small businesses so as to not be dependent on, for them an unstable market.

The project will begin working with a women's group near Cxerro Azul, Taulabé, Comayagua. The group is called Junta Rural de Productores de Café y Groupo Microempresarial de Mujeres. Anticipated long term results for this project are: quality control, lower production cost, improved administration, and non-traditional markets for the group's coffee.

Over the next couple of years this project can support 5-6 FTF volunteers. The get this project up and running we have identified two project foci: 1. The big picture; volunteers with broad understanding of the coffee industry, marketing, organic and shade grown coffees, and business management 2. Small business development; persons committed to working with the women's coffee growers group who understand the importance of coffee selection, small scale roasting, and local marketing techniques. Gordon Blankenberg (802-862-8721) fills the qualifications of the focus 1. And Jeannie Blankenberg focus 2.

ZAMORANO: The Pan American Agricultural School is in the process of redesigning its agriculture curriculum, specifically their rural development, applied economics and leadership area. Volunteers qualified for this assignment include; Fred Schmidt, Deep Ford, Jeff Roberts, Chuck Nicholson, and Bob O'Neil. The first assignment should take place as soon as possible, no later than October.

WATER FOR HUMANITY: In 1988 Terry Ross, past president of the American Society of Dowsers, Danville, Vt. taught a group of promoters for the Sabana Grande Rural Development Project how to dowse. This activity was a resounding success and those trained are still dowsing. Fred Schmidt put us in contact with Marian Peduzzi of the Dowsers Association. Marian wrote asking if we were interested in participating in the Water For Humanity Program. And so it has begun.

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Story Source: Partnership of the Americas

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Honduras; Agriculture



By Anonymous ( on Friday, September 09, 2005 - 4:28 pm: Edit Post


I am intereted in receiving materials in Spanish (not too technical) related to the issues mentioned on this page (sustainable rural development in Latin America, coffee, sugar cane, womens' involvement, environmental problems,etc. Does anyone have any ideas where I can start my search? Please respond to my e-mail, - not to this site.

Thank you.


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