As we wrap up our project and look back on what we have accomplished, we feel that we were able to meet the goals we set when we began our work with Growers First. Through our First Growers initiative, we created a community outreach program that can be both profitable and sustainable, developing a resource that provides benefits to the community of El Socorro today, while also fostering tomorrow’s resources. Furthermore, our team found a way to further incorporate Growers First with the community by specifically addressing a need that was identified as being the community’s top priority from the 10 Seeds Technique: education. By analyzing the Honduran education sector and identifying weaknesses in this sector, we were able to create projects that not only filled educational voids but also further incorporated Growers First with the community.
Following our presentation to the class and the community partners, we continued communication with Gus Danjoi, one of the Growers First board members that we have been working with throughout this project. Based on some of his input and in-depth knowledge of Growers First’s operations in El Socorro, we further discussed certain aspects of our project to better ensure the true success of our project in the long-run.
- First, Gus recommended that some sort of a “champion” be selected from within Growers First and within El Socorro to supervise the implementation of the First Growers garden at the El Socorro schoolhouse and ensure its overall success. Doing so would allow for multiple perspectives and input in a more organized fashion.
- Furthermore, we learned that Growers First currently works with COHORSIL, a coffee mill in the nearby town of Siguatepeque. We think that one role of the “champions” could be to expand the existing relationship with this coffee mill to develop a stronger link between it and the community. For example, this coffee mill, aside from processing coffee beans, also germinates seeds in its greenhouse, resulting in seedlings. Though we had initially said that the students would need to acquire plant seeds with which to plant the First Growers garden, seedlings, such as those found in the COHORSIL greenhouse, would actually allow for more efficient and effective plant growth. By expanding the relationship between El Socorro and COHORSIL, the “champions” may even be able to secure seedlings for the students to use in the First Growers garden!
- Finally, in the event that a team were to take over the project, as opposed to leaving it to be supervised by the “champions,” Growers First could help reach out to churches in the El Socorro area or to other US-based colleges, like Wheaton College, who may have more of the necessary time and resources to participate in further supervising the project and making sure that it can be a sustainable success.
Overall, our group is really happy about the work we have accomplished with Growers First over the course of this semester. We feel strongly about our project and believe that we have created a foundation that can continue to be sustainable and built off of even after our time with Growers First ends. It is our hope that the First Growers initiative will not only be sustainable but also have a positive impact and strengthen the educational institutions in El Socorro, Honduras.