During a mission to Bolivia, organized to strengthen links between PADEM and its local partners, Hugo (Latin America project manager) and Clémence (consultant) visited families on the field who benefited, or who are preparing to benefit from projects aimed at improving living conditions in these villages.

It was first in the municipality of Poroma, where a project has just started, that they were able to meet local authorities, children from primary and secondary schools, as well as their families. Thanks to the project implemented by our partner Sumaj Punchay, they will be trained and will develop school and family vegetable gardens, watered thanks to the installation of “DIY” irrigation systems. Indeed, the current challenge faced by farming families in the Bolivian Andes is the lack of water. Without this “blue gold”, with rains becoming sparse and unpredictable due to climate change, it is becoming extremely difficult to obtain good harvests of potatoes and corn, the region’s two flagship crops. Even more difficult to grow vegetables, which require water, but are essential for a healthy and varied diet, to which many children (like their parents) therefore do not have access. The people met on site give their testimony as to the impact of this lack of water on the life of their village, and are eager to be able to remedy it, to offer a better future to their children, whom they would like to see stay there, rather than emigrating to the city.

They will then go to Betanzos, another village where a similar project was completed at the end of 2023. Here they visit the gardens created by the families, which are full of vegetables of all kinds: beets, chard, salads, carrots, onions, spinach, aromatic herbs, and fruit trees, each greener than the other, thanks to the irrigation systems.

Families confide that, thanks to these gardens, they manage not only to diversify their meals, but also to sell the surplus, creating additional income, which allows them, among other things, to finance their children’s education (purchase of school supplies, etc. ). An exciting visit, therefore, during which they will even be invited to taste the delicious fresh products grown on site!


On the third day in the field, they visited another village, closer to the town of Sucre, but difficult to access by a winding and bumpy road. Here, the upcoming project essentially aims to raise awareness and train people in the village on the importance of reforestation in this area prone to erosion and landslides. Thus, the inhabitants of the village will continue to develop a tree nursery, and organize plantations in the surroundings of the village, to stabilize the soil, maintain its freshness which protects the crops from drought, and perhaps also, sell some fruit tree plants and their fruits, to increase their income.


The rest of the trip was dedicated to meetings and working time in the cities of Sucre and La Paz, with the current partner Sumaj Punchay and those to come, the Fundación Intercultural Nor Sud and the Fundación Pueblo. These 10 days were rich in meetings and Hugo and Clémence are filled with gratitude for the welcome given by our warm partners, delighted to show us their work and their splendid country!