Who we are:

JoAnn Paulsen, our project manager, lived in Guatemala for many years until an accident took her back to her home in Phoenix Arizona. Now that her health is restored she is moving back to Guatemala in order to oversee the building of the Gardens and to help the people there learn to grow their food for years to come. Joann has spent most of her life donating her time and money to the people in Guatemala and they are near and dear to her heart. Because she speaks their native language and knows the land and the people well, she is a great advocate for them. For years Joann supported the artists in Guatemala by purchasing their art and selling it in the States. She sold Worry Dolls and Huipils as well as hand-carved Nativity Scenes. A portion of her sales would go back to Guatemala to help the artists and their families as well as other charities that feed, clothe, and educate people in need.

What We Do:

We focus on a range of activities and initiatives to support gardens and gardening practices in Guatemala, especially in underserved communities. Here’s a list of some of the ways we help.

  • Community Garden Development: Establish and maintain community gardens in impoverished areas to promote food security and nutrition.
  • Education and Training: Provide gardening workshops and training sessions to local residents on sustainable gardening techniques, soil health, pest control, and crop management.
  • Seed Distribution: Distribute seeds and seedlings of locally adapted, nutritious crops to help communities grow their own food.
  • Compost Programs: Encourage composting practices to improve soil fertility and reduce waste.
  • Garden Tools and Supplies: Provide essential gardening tools, equipment, and supplies to participating communities.
  • Nutrition Education: Offer nutrition education programs to teach families how to use garden produce to improve their diets.
  • Market Access: Facilitate access to local markets and distribution networks, helping communities generate income from surplus produce.
  • School Garden Programs: Partner with schools to create and maintain educational gardens that teach students about agriculture, nutrition, and the environment.
  • Health and Sanitation: Encourage the construction of handwashing stations and hygiene facilities near community gardens.
  • Community Engagement: Foster a sense of community and ownership among participants, encouraging collaboration and responsibility for garden maintenance.
  • Research and Development: Invest in research to identify crops and practices that are best suited to local environmental conditions and nutritional needs.
  • Microloans or Grants: Provide financial support in the form of microloans or grants to help individuals or groups start or expand their gardens.
  • Advocacy: Advocate for policies that support sustainable agriculture and community gardening at the local and national levels.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with local NGOs, government agencies, businesses, and other stakeholders to maximize the impact of gardening initiatives.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Regularly assess the effectiveness and sustainability of the charity’s programs and make necessary adjustments.
  • Capacity Building: Offer training and capacity-building programs to local leaders and community members to empower them to manage and sustain their gardens.
  • Emergency Response: Be prepared to provide support during natural disasters or food crises by distributing emergency food supplies or assisting with garden rehabilitation.

By engaging in these activities, a Guatemalan garden charity can make a significant positive impact on the lives of Guatemalan communities, addressing issues related to food security, nutrition, income generation, and environmental sustainability.