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“What would your grandfather think if he saw the way you’re farming it now?” we ask.
Joaquín looks out at the farm and chuckles. His laugh, like his voice, is quiet, gentle, and slightly wheezy.
“He’d laugh,” he says, with a twinkle in his eye. He’d laugh because Joaquín’s farm looks nothing like it did back in the early 1990’s.
The room was packed. Proud farming families were dressed in their best clothing. Babies were asleep in their mother’s or brother’s arms. The doors and windows were adorned with palms and bunches of plantains hung from the ceiling like chandeliers.
The families present had arrived in myriad ways—some on foot, some in the backs of trucks or on motorcycles—however they could. Each of these families began working with Sustainable Harvest International field trainers in 2008. Before working with Sustainable Harvest International, their lives were very different. The land they farmed looked different. In fact, the land where they lived looked different, too.
The graduation ceremony was a chance for these graduating families to speak directly to their peers and fellow farmers, and to the board and staff members who traveled to El Tulé to be a part of the festivities.