Mission: The mission of agros international is to see rural poor families own agricultural land, attain economic self-sufficiency, realize their god-given potential, and pass on to future generations the values and resources that will enable them to flourish.
Programs: The agros model is a uniquely holistic approach to alleviating rural poverty. By providing long-term land loans to the poor along with integrated services such as community organization, training, and long-term credit, entire rural villages are empowered to become self-sustaining and escape the devastating effects of extreme poverty. Program initiatives undertaken during the year include:* provided community and economic development training and assistance to 536 small-producer families (3018 individuals) in agros villages in guatemala, nicaragua, honduras and mexico. Training included income-generating technical assistance in basic grain, coffee and vegetable production. * offered credit and training to over 500 women entrepreneurs in 29 rural community banks for investing in income-generating projects;* completed direct support for three communities that reached development milestones;* continued to provide health strategies for families, encouraging improved health practices and prevention of diseases, focusing particularly pregnant women and children under five years old;* sponsored service teams to agros villages in which 173 u. S. Individuals participated.
I have had the chance to see Agros' work first hand - on the ground in the Barillas area of northern Guatemala.
Part of what makes Agros unique is that their field operations are all run and staffed by locals, from management to agronomists, microlending experts, to office administrators. The respectful, inclusive way in which they work with local indigenous communities to establish housing, schools, health and sanitation systems, and economic opportunities is very very impressive.
The management team in Seattle is also very professional, and they do a fantastic job of providing updates on each of their programs.