ATC supports Tomabu community in building agroecology and food sovereignty

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Editors’ Note: In collaboration with the ATC, Friends of the ATC facilitates a small internship program for learners (usually university students or recent graduates) who are committed to solidarity with social movements. Each intern has a unique experience and brings a unique perspective and contribution to the ATC while they are in Nicaragua. In this post we share with you an article written by Friends of ATC intern, Jordan Deskins. She reports on a visit to Tomabu, Estelí, an ATC-organized community that hosts one of the ATC Esteli Federation’s agroecological parcels, supported in part through Friends of the ATC.

This past week, I visited the community of Tomabu in the department of Estelí. It is a small campo community with an incredibly curvy and uneven dirt road that leads to the top. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by Dolores and Bernardino in their home, where they shared with us that Dolores was born in the community and they have been campesinos/campesinas their entire lives, currently working with 4 manzanas of land, and that the community’s main crops are corn and beans

(Dolores and Bernardino in front of their home in Tomabu) 

Dolores and Bernardino have one of the ATC’s projects behind their home – cama profundas, as they are called in Spanish – a deep bed system for reproducing pigs that will either be sold within the community or consumed by community members. During our visit, we got to see the first piglets from the mother pig in the deep bed system. The mother pig was artificially inseminated nearly 4 months ago through a government program that assists with livestock production in the campo. The system is maintained by Bernardino, but benefits the entire community as there is now local access to pork and other pigs to start the breeding process. 

(Cama profundas – the deep bed system structure) 

The ATC also funded two water collection tanks within the community to lower the costs of resources for livestock and parcel use. We were met by a campesina, Briselba, who is working on developing her land for poultry and egg production in the community, and her land has one of the two water collection tanks in Tomabu. She currently has over 30 chicks in an indoor stall with water, feed, and heat lamps; however she hopes to expand the production and to move it all outdoors once the land is ready and she is able to purchase more materials. With the resources from the ATC, she can save money on water resources during the rainy season as currently the tank is nearly full of water for the chicks and her crops. 

(Darwin (ATC) and Bernardino with the water tank on Briselba’s land) 

Both ATC funded projects are supporting local food sovereignty and agroecology in Tomabu. The projects are contributing to the local community by providing locally sourced pork, chicken, and eggs instead of community members needing to take the steep and long walk outside of the community to find them elsewhere. Additionally, the campesinos/campesinas are using ecological and environmentally friendly agricultural practices that keep livestock healthy and need less resources. As Bernardino says, “it’s the ATC that has taught its great techniques”, which builds community agriculture for campesinos and campesinas in this small community of Estelí. 

(The chicks and pigs on the parcels in Tomabu)

Want to see more of Tomabu? Watch this video made by last year’s interns, MB and Ari:


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