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30 Belizeans, including 13 women, studying practical agriculture in Colombia coming back soon

Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2022. 8:05 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Sustainable Harvest International

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: They left in three different groups in April to Colombia to partake in a three-month agricultural training at Fundación Panaca in Colombia and now they are about to return.

The 30 Belizean students were joined by youths from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Costa Rica from Central America and Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru from the Andean Community for the training which has widened their horizons and improved their hands-on knowledge of different aspects of agriculture.

The 90-day Agricultural Labor Technical Training Program scholarship is sponsored by the Colombian Government through the Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC Colombia). The 30 scholarships for the Belizean students were awarded through the Mesoamerica Project for Agricultural Labor Technician for Small Farmers, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE).

MAFSE said it was noteworthy that 13 of the 30 total are women like Damaris De La Rosa who was recently featured in a post by, Sustainable Harvest International (SHI).

Damaris De La Rosa SHI-Belize field trainer extraordinaire, is currently participating in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Selected as one of 30 representatives from Belize, she is now in Colombia with 240 rural leaders from across Latin America in an 80-day training on rural development and good farming practices,” said Sustainable Harvest International (SHI).

“They’re “learning by doing,” day in and day out, building their knowledge and cultivating international connections that will last a lifetime.”

According to SHI, the Fundación Panaca and APC Colombia project is an innovative and visionary program which is leading the way to help transform food systems for a healthier planet.

“We’re so proud of Damaris and can’t wait to share more about her experience in the weeks to come!” said SHI.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) said the Agricultural Technician Training Program for Rural Leaders is offered by APC Colombia every five years to countries of South and Central America and that this was the first time the program was offered to Belizean participants. Seventy-five persons from all over the country applied and 30 were chosen by the Colombian embassy personnel.

MAFSE said the 30 Belizean participants hail from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts.


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