May 24, 2023

Bocana Agua Caliente and the Grocery Store Vegetables 

It’s less than two weeks now until we depart for Colombia, and the project is coming together beautifully. After a great deal of speaking to local leaders and authorities, we have found a welcoming village for the Gardening Community After Conflict project.  

Bocana Agua Caliente is a community of 150 people, located just 90 minutes by dirt road from the municipal capital of Morelia. They are almost entirely agrarian and are excited about the prospect of securing stable prices for their crops. As we have been planning out the community garden with the community’s mayor (pictured below with the cattle) we have secured additional support from the Colombian National Training Service (SENA). They are a public institution aimed to develop vocational training programs for the Colombian labor force as a means to increase the competitiveness of Colombia’s enterprises. After a representative from SENA (woman  pictured below, white shirt) went to visit Bocana Agua Caliente, she concluded that this would be an ideal location for a project that partners with a local grocery store chain. The grocery store project guarantees a highly competitive price for tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers. As we move forward in a couple weeks with laying down the soil for the community garden, the cultivation of tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers will be at the center of our efforts. If the community successfully comes together and delivers the vegetables to the grocery store, SENA will then offer the community even larger projects. In the meantime, we will be working to foster even further reaching trade opportunities for the people of Bocana Agua Caliente. Additionally, we will be carrying out interviews with the majority of the adults in the community in order to help tell their unique story throughout the Colombian Conflict. We are especially interested in the twelve community members that are ex-FARC and learning what the peace process has been like for them. To say the least, we are anxious to get started.  

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