Location: Astillero, Nicaragua
Bordering Astillero is the protected and highly significant Chacocente Wildlife Refuge, one the largest fragments of tropical dry forest left on our planet. This area is under several pressures from the communities that live in and around it including the poaching and killing of sea turtles, illegal harvesting of wood and iguana eggs, and uncontrolled cattle.
The Agroecology Center is a resource for community members to co-create knowledge and practice as we work together to build soil and create a diverse multi-storied food forest system within the heart of El Astillero. It is home to a diverse and growing collection of organic and native seeds and allotments for the Brigada Ecologica and other community gardens. It is from this space that new community projects emerge, workshops are held to facilitate the transfer of knowledge to locals and begin to observe the ecological regeneration of El Astillero.
Women’s Apprenticeship Program
Casa Congo’s Apprenticeship program provides cash in hand ($50) for single mothers as they gain experience with agroecological processes and agroforestry systems at the centre of Agroecology. At all times their children can take part in activities occurring at Casa Congo or help out in the garden. Once the month long apprenticeship is over, Casa Congo supports our graduates with funds, resources and more ($150’s worth) in order for them to begin or improve gardens of their own. We continue to support their needs and help deal with any challenges they are confronted with and discover innovations which they have developed that makes their gardening experience more effective and productive. All of the apprentices that have participated so far have been Las Tejadoras of the Astillero Women’s Collective.
Women 4 Water Project
During the dry season water must be harvested from local wells. Anielka, Casa Congo’s Agroecology Coordinator has developed a funding program to help women buy water tanks so that they can capture rainwater during the rainy season and store water from the town well during the dry season. Women would pay for 50% of the tanks cost with Casa Congo and our partners providing the financial support for the remaining 50%. We also support the construction of grey water filters to clean the dirty laundry water which is a health risk for waterborne diseases.
Growing soil and community resilience
Protecting seeds and biodiversity
Developing food sovereignty
Sharing traditional and ecological wisdom
News on Agroecology Project: