The National Pea Foundation (known as FUNDARVEJA for its name in Spanish) is an institution founded by exporters of AGEXPORT’s Peas and Vegetables Committee. Since 2018, it has worked on different projects to promote the development of small rural farmers and their families, specially among those involved in the production of peas and vegetables destined to international markets.
AGEXPORT’s Peas and Vegetables Committee believes that exports need to create a sustainable impact in our communities and contribute to the development of rural families related with vegetable production. Through FUNDARVEJA, we share theoretical and practical knowledge on topics like health, nutrition and environmental sanitation. In 2019, we were able to benefit 150 families of nine communities of Chimaltenango and Sacatepequez with our programs; said Mr. Eduardo Calderón, CEO of FUNDARVEJA.
With these actions, members of AGEXPORT’s Peas and Vegetables Committee contributed with Guatemala on the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In order to achieve these goals, FUNDARVEJA established important alliances with institutions like International Esperanza Project (IEP), the Guatemalan Plastics Commission (COGUAPLAST), the Social Work School of San Carlos University, the National Agriculture School (ENCA, for its acronym in Spanish), the Agriculture Chemicals Association (AGREQUIMA) and “Emprende” Foundation, among others.
Additionally, we develop a program of Women Entrepreneurs, where we trained 30 women of communities like Xeatzán (in Patzun) and San Lorenzo El Cubo (in Sacatepequez) to help them acquire basic knowledge on entrepreneurship topics and improve their quality of life. Along with this, we started 18 orchards to benefit 20 families and 40 students of El Sitio (Patzún, Chimaltenango) and Santa María de Jesús (Sumpango, Sacatepequez); said Mr. Calderón.
In 2019, FUNDARVEJA also organized 23 conferences in five schools on topics like recycling, environmental conservation and waste disposal, impacting 50 teachers and 1,400 students. As well, our foundation offered conferences on best agriculture practices for vegetable producers of Santa Maria de Jesus and Patzun; and conferences on personal hygiene in Chuinimachicaj (Patzún), given to 100 mothers of this community.
In other actions, FUNDARVEJA also supported in 2018 the families affected with the eruption of the Fuego volcano. FUNDARVEJA joined forces with International Esperanza Project (IEP) to donate and install wood stoves and water filters in eight schools of El Rodeo (Escuintla) and surrounding communities. Up to 1,260 students were benefitted with this project, helping them with access to clean water and improving their health, said FUNDARVEJA’s CEO.
As part of FUNDARVEJA’s social commitment, throughout 2019 the foundation donated vegetables to the Corpus Christi Hospital in Patzun, the “Misioneros del Camino” orphanage in Sumpango and different schools of Tecpan (Chimaltenango) and El Yalú (Sacatepequez).