IAF – “What We Carry”

Last December, we had the amazing chance to travel to El Salvador with the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), a grassroots development organization that supports community-led projects in Latin America & the Caribbean.  They were interested in creating a mission video that highlights the work they do around the region with a few specific stories.  We planned a one-week trip, with time to visit 5 projects around the country: FUNDESYRAM (an economic empowerment organization for small women farmers), ASALI (a community fishing cooperative surrounding a thriving lake), Centro Arte para la Paz (community-supported museum and cultural center), ADESCOIM (a sustainable fishing & eco-tourism initiative, with focus on sea turtle conservation) and MARIAS 93 (a sustainable coffee cooperative & youth empowerment initiative).

At FUNDESYRAM, we met Gerarda, a small farmer and mother of two who was in the process of growing her farm to include some incredible initiatives, like raising pigs and chickens, installing a biogas stove, growing seedlings to sell at the market, and even composting.  She graciously agreed to a short interview and explained how excited she was not only to be increasing her production, but to watch her daughter begin college in the fall.  Meeting Gerarda inspired us and highlighted the reason that the work IAF is doing is so critical.  It seeks out the best ideas from people like Gerarda and her community to solve their own problems, instead of waiting for a solution.  After all, as you’ll hear in the video, who will work harder for an idea than the idea’s own originator??

El Salvador is an absolutely beautiful country, filled with sprawling farmlands and picturesque mountains.  We even read they have some of the most sought after surfing spots in the entire world!  While the rest of the northeast was deep into winter, we were spoiled to be in a country where the average temperature was 75 degrees everyday, with beautiful blue skies and incredible sunsets.  But, even with all of this beauty to speak of, it’s definitely the people we met that we’ll think of most!

 

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