The ECHO Latin America/Caribbean Impact Team exists to:
Make appropriate technical information more widely available among persons and organizations who serve to alleviate hunger and improve the lives of small-scale farmers.
Increase the awareness of regionally important crops, animal breeds and farming systems by seeking out, sharing and promoting effective indigenous innovations related to food sufficiency and poverty alleviation.
Increase the availability of seeds of select regionally important crops among development workers, encourage regional seed saving and sharing and determine the availability of other significant plant material.
Encourage networking and information sharing among development workers in each region.
Why Latin America and the Caribbean?
Latin America and the Caribbean is a region of deep contrasts. Over the past two decades there has been substantial social and economic growth, enabling some to make the leap from poverty and vulnerability to stability and relative middle class comfort. Infrastructure in most large cities is modern with reliable transportation systems connecting centers of trade. The landscape is dotted with shopping centers that host well known American businesses.
However, beginning at the edges of the modern cities one can see the acute symptoms of a widespread and destructive force; the crushing weight of hopelessness in the rural villages that are home to nearly half of the region’s population. Every year hundreds of rural families abandon farming as their traditional survival strategies are no longer sufficient to support even a meager existence.
47 million people in the region suffer from hunger and malnutrition, mainly women and children.