(para leer en español, haz clíc aquí)
On October 23, the community of Tierra Nueva in La Libertad celebrated its sixteenth anniversary as a land cooperative!
In the context of the general land-grab that occurred after the Peace Accords were signed in January of 1992, the residents of Tierra Nueva, originally from different parts of the country, came to occupy the land, hoping to legitimately earn the deed. With the help of their sister community, Crescent United Church in Vancouver, Canada, they were able to purchase the land and begin to manage it as a cooperative in 1994. Being a land cooperative means that the community divides up the land so that each family has a parcel, with some communal land left over, uncultivated, where the community meeting space and soccer field stand today. Every couple years, the community elects new leaders and reevaluates the division of the land.
About fifteen families live in Tierra Nueva, which is a two hour walk from the closest bus stop, school, or mechanical corn mill. A recent effort that the community has developed together, with the support of Crescent, is a series of small chicken granges. Five families in the community were initially gifted fifteen chickens each and materials for a chicken coop, and as new chicks hatched and grew, they were passed onto other families, to begin their own familial chicken granges. This effort is important because the eggs and meat provided by the chickens adds a bit of diversity to the simple diet of the people in the community. Additionally, two women in Tierra Nueva, Margarita and Ana Luz, have been trained to manage a small pharmacy in the community, with medicines for common ailments like headaches, the flu, or parasites as well as vitamins for children and pregnant women. The agricultural situation of the community of Tierra Nueva also served as the inspiration for the Silo/Granary Project, which is now being executed in 16 communities.
Happy Anniversary, Tierra Nueva!