El Paredon Secondary School Garden

Local Partner | La Choza Chula

Based in El Paredon, the non-profit La Choza Chula’s mission is to improve the quality of education, create employment opportunities and promote positive impact from tourism within the local community. They achieve this through sustainable education, enterprise and environmental products funded by a social enterprise and donations.

La Choza Chula (LCC) was founded in 2012, and in its first year of operation 100 young people made and sold jewelry to tourists, adding to their family income to pay for school materials and clothes. Since then, other LCC achievements include a library, a secondary school, as well as a computer laboratory built with the help of Surf For Life volunteers.

Project Overview

El Paredón is a small fishing community of 1200 people located on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, with an increasing footfall of international surfers and tourists. The main industries are fishing, agriculture and tourism, with a growing number of hotels, local businesses and eateries. The area is rich in natural resources however international food donations supplement people’s income and the local diet is lacking in nutritional value. Approximately 49% of children in Guatemala are chronically malnourished. - the fourth highest rate in the world. - with 65% of the population only eating fruit and vegetable once a week. This is exacerbated in El Paredón where there is limited opportunity to buy fresh fruit and vegetables in the village.

With a goal to invest in training, education and experiential learning through the growing of fresh fruit and vegetables, the secondary school students are learning to manage and maintain a permaculture garden. Currently, additional infrastructure is needed, including creating a solar water pump, compost area, walls, fencing, seed propagation area, and more. Our collaboration will add these elements to ensure the garden is robust and will last well into the future.