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Lilian and Raúl work together on their farm.

Five years ago, husband and wife Raúl Chanchavac and Lilian Tzún were trained in gardening techniques and received seed funds to start an agribusiness through CRS projects. Today they supply their produce to 16 schools and are able to hire around 15 people during harvest time. Lilian and Raúl have participated in two CRS projects that put them on the path from subsistence farming to entrepreneurship. As part of the first project, the family received seed capital to build a greenhouse and technical training to improve the quality of their produce. More recently, they participated in a project that links farmers to buyers as part of Guatemala’s national school meal program that requires schools to buy at least 50% of their food from local producers. CRS has trained more than 50 local producers who now sell their fruits, vegetables and eggs to schools. Supporting local farmers not only builds a strong school meal program and helps feed students, it bolsters local economies and communities.

Photo by Erick Josue Hernandez for Catholic Relief Services