The Success of Valentin Baldemar Garcia Lopez from Guatemala
Don Valentín grew up in the small village of San Nicolas, Chiantla. It is largely a farming community. His father was a farmer, his grandfather was a farmer, and so on. Don Valentin is known through his community as an honest, responsible and enterprising man. He is always volunteering to help his friends and neighbors, even though he has very little himself.
Don Valentin and his wife are blessed with five children between the ages of 18 and 5 months old. They all work together to help out running the family business. Farming is a difficult life. His two oldest sons (currently 18 and 17) had to drop out of school after the 6th grade to help on the farm.
Their small family farm produced carrots and potatoes. Don Valentin always felt like he was coming up short. He never had enough money to cover the needs of his family and grow his farming enterprise. About three years ago a friend introduced him to Mentors Guatemala. Don Valentin quickly learned how to invest his small loan into his farming business. That first year he expanded by planting onions and cauliflower in addition to the carrots and potatoes. With the added income from these new product Don Valentin continued to work with his mentors.
Today he is able to purchase fertilizers so that his crops are stronger even more plentiful. He has expanded his farm and now plants even more acres adding even more products to his farm with beans, beets, cabbage, corn, and broccoli. Don Valentin also has need to hire ten additional workers to help with the planting and harvesting of his farm. He is very grateful the Mentors Guatemala made it possible to help him provide jobs and income for his friends.
Don Valentin still has many dreams for the future. His house is made out of clay and he is planning on building a more stable and secure home for his children in the coming year. He wants his children to have every advantage that he didn’t have. He wants to be able to send them to school. He wants his oldest boys to know that farming is an honorable profession and with the help of Mentors Guatemala that they can be successful just like their father is.
Don Valentin expresses an immense gratitude for the help that Mentors Guatemala has provided during these years. He hopes to continue counting on their help and support in the future as he continues to improve his farming enterprises.