Aldao Choatalúm, San Martín Jilotepeque, Guatemala
El Mirador Farm, winner of the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture’s Model Organic Farm Award, promotes an ecological, organic, and sustainable agriculture that fosters native plants and biodiversity.
The dream of Manuel Huz—co-founder of the renowned Campesino-to-Campesino Movement and the Maní School of Ecological Agriculture—El Mirador is in a region particularly affected by Guatemala’s civil war. It is a testament to Manuel’s healing vision that El Mirador has become such a vibrant community center and has changed so many lives in the process. The Campesino-to-Campesino Movement that Manuel helped to establish emphasizes soil conservation and sustainability in the context of traditional campesino agriculture, promoting hands-on experimental learning, innovation, and exchange of ideas on the campesinos’ small holdings. It has spread from San Martín throughout the Americas and around the world.
El Mirador is a self-sustaining, working farm and a training facility. Thousands of visitors come to the three-acre farm each year to learn about innovative, small-scale, low-cost practices in cattle, pig and fowl husbandry; production of corn, coffee, fruit, vegetables, firewood, cheese, animal feed, fish, compost and worm bins; soil and water conservation, reforestation, water recycling and the use of a biodigestor to produce methane as a fuel source.
Three Americas and Earth Links have been the sole international supporters of El Mirador. Three Americas is currently working to help El Mirador produce a brochure, and a DVD of their farm tours, as well as working to identify funding for a much-needed second bungalow so that additional visitors and groups can spend the night at El Mirador during training sessions.
Watch Café Maya, a documentary video about Manuel Huz and El Mirador, directed by Emery Hudson, and produced by Roger Bunch for Three Americas.