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Hope for Indigenous people in Panama

by | Dec 9, 2012 | Vincentian Family

Fr. Joe Fitzgerald , CM writes “It is with hearts full of gratitude for the successes and blessings of the program in 2012 that we look forward to the Semillas de Esperanza (Seeds of Hope) Program of the Soloy Ngäbe Catholic Mission in 2013.”

The Semillas de Esperanza groups work together to build a better future for their families. Central to the program is the organic agricultural project that involves formation gatherings, group work, family seed loans, animal breeding, tool sharing and “village sample farms”. Additional projects such as latrines, rain water harvest systems, and reforestation help the participants combat the conditions of extreme poverty, malnutrition and constant sickness in which the families live.

Signs of Hope…

  • The land conservation and organic methods we are implementing continue to show very good results. “I never imagined we would have so much plantain and ñame from our own land”, said one of the participants from Quebrada de Hacha, a village that is now preparing to produce plantains as a cash crop in 2013, exporting outside the village for the first time.
  • The village of Nueva Molena now has a reputation for chicken production, thanks to the “chicken cooperative” model organized by the Semillas de Esperanza participants in 2012. Families from neighboring villages can now buy healthy chicken in Nueva Molena on a regular basis, greatly increasing the protein intake of the family. Another village will implement the chicken cooperative model in January 2013.
  • A water irrigation system using PCV tubes and sprinklers has been installed in the village of Nuevo Molena and the participants are preparing to plant crops though the dry season for the first time!
  • Another sign of real hope is the tilapia fish production project organized by the Semillas de Esperanza participants in Cerro Miel. Our first harvest of 300 tilapia fish will be in February 2013. Although the preparation of the ponds is a lot of work, the low cost in raising tilapia shows great promise for the participants.

In January 2013, two more villages will begin the Semillas de Esperanza agricultural program. And for the first time, the local program organizers in the new villages will receive their formation from indigenous Ngäbe who have several years experience as local organizers in their own village and have now become the programs formators. The agricultural engineers who have worked as formators these past years will continue to accompany the process as consultants.

We cannot thank enough all those who have helped financially and though prayer!

Click here to DONATE to Semillas de Esperanza

Help make 2013 a year of hope for the Ngäbe!




Semillas de Esperanza (Seeds of Hope) is a program of the Ngöbe Catholic Mission of Soloy that attempts to promote the full human dignity of the participants through processes of active participation. Holding cultural identity at the heart of development, celebrating Ngöbe traditions and values, as well as evaluating the best that new technologies can offer, Semillas de Esperanza intends to uphold the human centered development that Catholic Social Teaching promotes.


We are very thankful for all of the prayers and support that this program has received.




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