20 Years of FAI: peasants’ festivals
By Alexa Fullerton &. Sylvia Van Dijk
FAI (The Fundación de Apoyo Infantil, Guanajuato, AC) is celebrating 20 years of working with children of our state in accordance with the International Convention of the Rights of the Child. FAI is a Children’s Rights (Human Rights) organization.
In our last article we explained how we brought parents into the schools to improve their parenting skills. Next we included children in the community activities organized by peasant farmers. We first linked up to a group of beekeepers in Dolores Hidalgo, just north of San Miguel de Allende, in the community of Las Yerbas.
Peasant farmers who had learned beekeeping as an extra source of income were sent by CEDESA to Guatemala where they learned the importance of holistic farm management. This meant taking care of the soil (earth), the use of natural fertilizers as opposed to chemical and artificial ones, pruning natural vegetation and cleaning of parasites from trees (paixtle and mistletoe), soil and water conservation measures in order to take advantage of the rainfall and finally, the importance of companion planting to keep the balance of nutrients in the soil, seed selection and the value of having your own bank of seeds.
The peasants needed a way to pass this knowledge on to the next generation, which was not being taught by the schools. FAI’s way to pass this knowledge on in a playful manner was to link up to the tradition of La Fiesta. Workshops with children started the party! We supported the peasants by creating the Festival de Mesquite, the Festival del Maíz, and the Festival del Nopal. Contests were held to evaluate the best parcel, the best ear of corn for seeds, the best pruned tree, among others. This was the beginning of children participating fully in earth consciousness.
For more information www.vinoypaella.com or go to our webpage: www.faiguanajuato.org.mx or Facebook: FAI.GTO, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 415.152-3686, Hidalgo 13, San Miguel de Allende, 37700, Guanajuato, Mexico, bank account number 7992805, branch office 483, Banamex.