Permaculture in El Salvador
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Permaculture in El Salvador

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Permaculture in El Salvador focuses on restoring indigenous agricultural and other traditions while restoring the environment. An antidote to the legacy of colonialism an an alternative to current ...

Permaculture in El Salvador focuses on restoring indigenous agricultural and other traditions while restoring the environment. An antidote to the legacy of colonialism an an alternative to current business-as-usual, permaculture practices in El Salvador help heal the wounds of

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    Permaculture in El Salvador Permaculture in El Salvador Presentation Transcript

    • Permaculture in El Salvador by Edward Marshall, May 2011 Photo from: http://theesperanzaproject.org/tag/el-salvador/
    • Permaculture in El Salvador (3) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (2) (2) (2) (1) http://www.unicorn-grocery.co.uk/others/permaculture.php (2) http://manchesterpermaculturenetwork.howcreative.co.uk/image/tid/37 (3) http://permacultura.com.sv/?page_id=32 (4) http://theesperanzaproject.org/2010/11/juan-rojas-recovering-indigenous-memory-in-el-salvador/
    • Presentation Overview
      • Why Permaculture?
      • Why is Permaculture in El Salvador?
      • Civil War in El Salvador
      • History of Permaculture in El Salvador
      • Campesino to Campesino Movement
      • Conclusion
      • References
    • What is Permaculture?
        "Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system." Bill Mollison, Permaculture founder ( http://www.heathcote.org/PCIntro/2WhatIsPermaculture.htm)
      The Prime Directive of Permaculture: The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children. – Bill Mollison (2009) Permaculture: A Designer's Manual Mollison, B. C., and Andrew Jeeves. Permaculture: a Designers' Manual. Tyalgum, Australia: Tagari, 2009. Print.
    • What is Permaculture? Permaculture is a design system based upon careful and protracted observation of natural ecosystems. Nature, as a model, provides environmental design principles and practical solutions to transform challenges into opportunities and solutions. Permaculture is adaptive and applicable to all climates and settings, and is focused on unique solutions that work with nature and not against it to provide food, energy, shelter, community, and alternatives to current financial systems. (http://www.regenerativedesign.org/sowhatispermaculturebook) http://www.thefarm.org/permaculture/index.html Earth Care -> People Care -> Share the surplus
    • What is Permaculture?
      • The Principle of Cooperation: Cooperation, not competition, is the very basis of existing life systems and of future survival (Mollison 2)
      • Permaculture models its designs on the relationships found in natural ecologies (44)
      • Permaculture, as sustainable design, aims to minimize work and maximize results through mimicking both ecological and biological principles and patterns (58, 59,105)
      • Permaculture seeks to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs and integrate the land with its inhabitants (457)
      Mollison, B. C., and Andrew Jeeves. Permaculture: a Designers' Manual. Tyalgum, Australia: Tagari, 2009. Print.
    • What is Permaculture? Permaculture prefers management to work, views pollution as a misplaced and underutilized resource, promotes productivity and an increase in yields, and restores damaged environments. Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another.
      • Work with nature rather than against it
      • The problem is the solution
      • Make the least change for the greatest possible effect
      • The yield of a system is theoretically unlimited
      • Everything gardens (Mollison, 15, 16)
      Mollison, B. C., and Andrew Jeeves. Permaculture: a Designers' Manual. Tyalgum, Australia: Tagari, 2009. Print.
    • http://permaculture.tv/permaculture-ethics-and-design-principles-with-david-holmgren/ Permaculture Ethics and Philosophy
    • Why Permaculture in El Salvador ? After the Civil War in the 1990s in El Salvador, which was about access to land for the poor, land remained in the control of the wealthy. The land left for peasants was marginal and degraded. Thus, Permaculture is useful as a strategy for making these lands productive again. Furthermore, it is more in alignment with traditional Mayan cultivation. According to Permacultura America Latina , permaculture offers a system for self-reliance and for community. It is in sync with the “indigenous belief in the life giving, spiritual force.” ( Www.permacultura.org/elsalvador.html ; http://www.pdcastsusworldradio.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=491329)
    • Civil War in El Salvador Who? Salvadoran Armed Forces against Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a coalition or umbrella organization of five left-wing militias Why? Like other MesoAmerican countries, El Salvador was run as a plantation economy by 2% of the population--Salvadorans of European ancestry. Their control of the indigenous population was assured through military dictatorships. Land was invaluable not as a resource for local sustenance, but for the export commodities of cocoa, indigo, and coffee.This was a building standoff of European against Native, of the peasant against the planter ruling class of the “Fourteen Families”. ( El Salvador: A Country Study , Ed. by Richard A. Haggarty, Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, November 1988.http://memory.loc.gov/frd/cs/svtoc.html)
    • In January 1932, labor leader Agustin Farabundo Marti lead a peasant revolt against the business arrangement of the "Fourteen Families" and their military dictatorship. This revolt failed and resulted in the military reprisal of "La Matanza": a slaughter of an estimated 30,000 indigenous peoples that would paralyze El Salvadoran dissent until the 1960's and 70's.   Héctor Lindo-Fuentes, Remembering a Massacre in El Salvador: The Insurrection of 1932, Roque Dalton and the Politics of Historical Memory, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007, 253. http://www.elortiba.org/farabundo.html Agustin Farabundo Marti "La Matanza"
    • http://www.visitationmonasteryminneapolis.org/2010/03/the-conversion-and-calling-of-oscar-romero-alive-and-inviting-us-to-north-minneapolis/ Archbishop Oscar Romero, an outspoken critic of the Salvadoran government's increasing pattern of human rights abuses in their repression of the peasants.
    • Archbishop Romero believed that his death at the hands of the Salvadoran government would see his resurrection through the people, and the day before his assassination he appealed directly to the military to cease their repression against the Salvadoran people: “ I would like to make a special appeal to the men of the army, and specifically to the ranks of the National Guard, the police and the military. Brothers, you come from our own people. You are killing your own brother peasants when any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God which says, &quot;Thou shalt not kill.&quot; No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you recovered your consciences and obeyed your consciences rather than a sinful order. The church, the defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, of the person, cannot remain silent before such an abomination. We want the government to face the fact that reforms are valueless if they are to be carried out at the cost of so much blood. In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression. . Walsh, Maurice. &quot;BBC NEWS | Programmes | File on 4 | Requiem for Romero.&quot; BBC News - Home. Web. 17 May 2011. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/file_on_4/4376733.stm> http://www.haverford.edu/relg/faculty/amcguire/romero.html
    • BBC video of day of Archbishop Romero's funeral. Civil war was finally born of the building violence of the 1970's with the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero while delivering Mass in San Salvador on March 23, 1980.
    • Civil War in El Salvador After Archbishop Romero's murder, the FMLN coalesced from several leftist groups to wage war against the right wing Salvadoran government, the oligarchy, and their paramilitary death squads. This civil war resulted in: The December 1980 rape and murder of four American churchwomen by the Salvadoran military and paramilitary. US President Jimmy Carter's response of the temporary suspension of aid to El Salvador. The election of US President Ronald Reagan and his 'Monroe Doctrine' like view of US National Security interests saw the US increase military aid to El Salvador's government without the human rights constraints the US Congress sought. After the FMLN launched an attack against the Salvadoran government in January 1981, US Military aid increased to over $1.5 million per day. This support resulted in an escalation of the conflict ultimately killed 75,000 and disappeared an estimated 300,000 Salvadorans. (http://www.youngstowncatholicworker.com/non-violence-resistance/roundtable/march-2011/)
    • Civil War in El Salvador In May 1994, centrist José Napoleón Duarte was the first civilian leader elected in 50 years while the civil war continued to rage due to the intransigence of the Salvadoran government and the FMLN in negotiating an end to the conflict. (&quot;Equipo Nizkor - Report of the UN Truth Commission on El Salvador.&quot; Derechos Human Rights . Web. 18 May 2011. <http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/salvador/informes/truth.html>) On November 16, 1989, the discovery of the murder of six Jesuit Priests and their housekeeper and her daughter on the campus of the University of Central America, firmly drew the world's attention to the atrocities the Salvadoran government was committing in its pursuit of victory in the civil war. ( &quot;Equipo Nizkor - Report of the UN Truth Commission on El Salvador.&quot; Derechos Human Rights . Web. 18 May 2011. <http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/salvador/informes/truth.html>) The Jesuit Massacre in 1989 finally attracted international condemnation of the events of the Salvadoran Civil War and forced the US' Congress' to authorize Congressman Joseph Moakley, who was very critical of the Reagan Administration's funding and handling of the Salvadoran Civil War, to launch a special investigative task force into the Salvadoran military's conduct during the Civil War. What was discovered was that high-ranking members of the Salvadoran officer corps involved in the murder of the Jesuits, received military training in Georgia at the US Army School of the Americas. This was the beginning of an international means to resolve this conflict. (&quot;Statement of Representative Joe Moakley Chairman of the Speaker's Task Force on El Salvador&quot;, November 18, 1991.)
    • Consequences FMLN and the Salvadoran military's execution of the conflict demonstrated that neither side was capable of outright victory. Due to the exposure of the massacre of the Jesuits the Civil War gained worldwide condemnation. Until then, the Civil War had largely been ignored, but it now could no longer be off the radar. The collapse of the Soviet Union also stripped the justification in US policy for hemispheric support of anti-communist forces. Together, these events compelled the US to push for peace. January 16, 1992, the FMLN and the Salvadoran government signed the United Nations-brokered Chapultepec Peace Accords, which stipulated a U.N.-created Commission to investigate the abuses committed during the war. This Commission’s report indicated that the majority of the humans rights abuses were perpetrated by the Salvadoran armed forces and the paramilitaries. (&quot;The peace process in El Salvador: hearing before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, March 16 and 23, 1993,&quot; Available at: http://www.archive.org/stream/peaceprocessinel00unit/peaceprocessinel00unit_djvu.txt)
    • Consequences, continued Following the U.N. Truth Commission Report, the Salvadoran government, under the control of the right-wing ARENA party, absolved the military and guerrilla forces from prosecution for human rights abuses in the war. The people responsible for the Jesuits Massacre were also not prosecuted. (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report Nº 136/99, Case 10.488 Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J.; Segundo Montes , S.J.; Armando Lopez, S.J.; Ignacio Martin-Baro, S.J.; Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, S.J.; Juan Ramon Moreno, S.J.; Julia Elba Ramos; and Celina Mariceth Ramos, El Salvador, December 22, 1999.) Today, these crimes remain un-prosecuted. ARENA still controls the government. It and the FMLN now fight their battles through electoral politics. Thus, the Salvadoran Civil War has not yet ended. (&quot;Elections in El Salvador Invoke Rivalries of Civil War Years&quot; Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times, March 11, 2009.) http://www.photius.com/countries/el_salvador/national_security/el_salvador_national_security_the_military_under_d~750.html http://www.weareca.org/index.php/en/era/1960s-Present/salvadorans.html
    • Current Land Issues in El Salvador “ The unavailability of sufficient land will prevent most [of the rural poor] from acquiring land and thus condemn them to absolute poverty and relative deprivation...for most of the landless, land poor, unemployed, and tenant farmers in El Salvador-the very ones in whose name the war was fought -neither the war nor the peace following it will lift them out of poverty Seligson (1995, 71)”
      • The problem of land access has not been solved for the majority of Salvadorans.
      • The lack of suitable land prevents many from gaining access to land, thus condemning those without access to poverty.
      • The landless earn less than 2/3 the income of small farmers
      • Sharecroppers earn 1/2 the income of those who own farmland
      • The peace accords gave &quot;the highest priority for land claims to those who fought for the government&quot; in the civil war.
      • Those for whom the FMLN fought--those without land access--received nothing.
      • As the rural poor migrates from the countryside to the cities for jobs, Salvadoran political parties now focus their attention on creating employment opportunities and serving their new urban constituencies
      • Yet despite El Salvador's peace, the scarcity and lack of access to suitable land for domestic agriculture remains.
      • Thirty Years of Transformation in the Agrarian Structure of El Salvador, 1961-1991, Mitchell A. Seligson, Latin American Research Review, Vol. 30, No. 3 (1995), pp. 43-74, Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2503979
    • Current Land Issues in El Salvador cont.
      • Growth has benefited a non-poor rural minority.
      • Rural poor have cleared land for subsistence farming.
      • The land cleared has mostly been in upper watersheds, which poses a threat to water supplies and wealth distribution. (Panayotou, Faris, and Restrepo, 1997)
      • Demand for land declines as per capita income rises.
      • Living standards and the capability of buying more farm land are positively correlated.
      • The limited means of the poor, who most need land for subsistence farming, keep them from having prospects of acquiring land.
      • Along with the results of the Civil War, other stresses have added to the duress experienced by farmers and the poor:
        • A drought in 1997.
        • 1999 Tropical Storm Mitch which flooded low-lying areas and destroyed roads and bridges.
        • 2001, dry conditions again, as a result of two earthquakes.
        • The decline of the worldwide price for coffee.
        • Agricultural employment has declined. (Lardé de Palomo and Argüello de Morera, 2000) .
    • Current Land Issues in El Salvador cont.
      • Due to lack of employment, even more of the rural poor now rely on subsistence agriculture.
      • Newly cleared fields contribute to erosion and land degradation.
      • Though deforestation has long been an issue, even revitalized habitat has, in recent years, been cleared (WRI, 1998) .
      Lardé de Palomo, A. and A. Argüello de Morera (2000), ‘Integración al mercado de los hogares rurales y generación de ingresos’, Documento de Investigación BASIS no. 3, Fundación Salvadoreño para el Desarrollo Económico y Social, San Salvador. López, R. (1997), ‘Rural Poverty in El Salvador: A Quantitative Analysis’, Report 16253-ES, World Bank, Washington. Panayotou, T., R. Faris, and C. Restrepo (1997), El Desafío Salvadoreño: De la Paz al Desarrollo Sostenible , San Salvador, Fundación Salvadoreño del Desarrollo Económico y Social. World Resources Institute (WRI), (2002), World Resources: A Guide to the Environment , New York, Oxford University Press. http://news.mongabay.com/2005/1004-el_salvador.html http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/research/projects/el-salvador-coffee/coffeeandbiodiversity1.html http://elsalvadorsolidarity.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=386&Itemid=65
    • “ If defects in the agrarian structure were central causes of the Salvadoran civil war, the long term stability of the peace should depend to a significant degree on ameliorating those defects.” (45) 20 th Century Problems into 21 st Century Solutions
        Thirty Years of Transformation in the Agrarian Structure of El Salvador, 1961-1991, Mitchell A. Seligson, Latin American Research Review, Vol. 30, No. 3 (1995), pp. 43-74, Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2503979
      http://kristivanno.blogspot.com/ http://www.unicorn-grocery.co.uk/others/permaculture.php
    • History of Permaculture in El Salvador means to “ameliorate the defects” The history of Permaculture in El Salvador is really also the history of Juan Rojas , its principle advocate.
      • As a university student in industrial engineering, Rojas became aware of the military dictatorship that was oppressing and “disappearing people.”
      • He got involved with trade unionists in El Salvador's struggles against the right wing military government, and was forced into exile by the government during the 1980s.
      • Rojas spent 4 years in Mexico, where he organized efforts for Salvadoran refugees from the Civil War. After attracting attention from the Mexican authorities for bringing the Salvadoran struggle to Vera Cruz, he was hunted for expulsion over immigration status.
      • A Catholic priest helped him move to El Distrito Federal. He then applied to go to Australia with assistance from the United Nations.
      • Rojas spent 9 years in Australia and was exposed to Permaculture studying with Bill Mollison, eventually becoming a teacher.
      • He returned to El Salvador in 1993 after learning how to implement Permaculture.
      http://pdcastsusworldradio.libsyn.com/mesoamerican_permaculture_with_juan_rojas
    • Permaculture is the best opportunity for those disenfranchised by both the previous and current land holding system to provide for their sustenance – Juan Rojas Permaculture in El Salvador blends Permaculture practices and a rediscovery of indigenous sources of knowledge like the Popul Vuh, the Mayan Holy Book, and a reconnection to their Mayan roots. http://theesperanzaproject.org/tag/el-salvador-permaculture-institute/
    • Permaculture Principles and Indigenous Traditions
        Through his work with the permaculture institute, which spread sustainable agriculture techniques through the farmer-to-farmer movement, he became acquainted with subsistence farmers throughout Mesoamerica, some of whom still practiced the indigenous traditions of their ancestors. It was then that Juan began to realize that the principles of permaculture aren’t so different from the traditional teachings about agriculture. “ That’s one of the first things we learn in permaculture, and Bill Mollison explained this very well: to watch and see where does the air enter your land in different seasons of the year? How does the water enter, and how does it leave? The same for the sun, and for the earth: they are objects of study, of analysis, when you are going to design a piece of land,” he said. “But when we’re living in a zone like Mesoamerica, among the ancestral cultures there’s already been an elaborate thought system developed about these principles, the wind, the water, the earth, the sun. “ Unfortunately, we in El Salvador have lost our cosmology, our understanding of life, and that’s why we’re in such a difficult position, environmentally speaking, in terms of food sovereignty issues, criminal violence, all the things that are making El Salvador famous around the world,” he told me.
      http://theesperanzaproject.org/tag/el-salvador-permaculture-institute/ http://pdcastsusworldradio.libsyn.com/mesoamerican_permaculture_with_juan_rojas
    • Rojas taught the first Permaculture Design Course in El Salvador in 1998 http://permacultura.com.sv/?page_id=2
    • Campesino to Campesino Movement Rojas built the permaculture community in El Salvador through the Campesino to Campesino movement. Through Permaculture and the Campesino a Campesino movement and the exposure to Mesoamerican subsistence farmers and their techniques, Juan Rojas observed that traditional indigenous agricultural practices and Permaculture shared commonalities regarding careful observation of where the elements of wind, water, and sunlight enter and exit the land one is working. Permaculture's elaborate system was already in place in indigenous agricultural for using these principles in designing systems. The understanding of these ancient ways of seeing were in danger of being lost. http://www.foodfirst.org/en/node/1422 http://www.foodfirst.org/en/node/1420
    • Permaculture promoted with the campesino a campesino method http://theesperanzaproject.org/tag/el-salvador/
    • The first Permaculture Institute in El Salvador was founded in 2002
        Rojas worked with a non-profit group called the Christian Base Communities (CEBES) that was organizing a movement of subsistence farmers around environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. In 2000 an English permaculturist and consultant came to El Salvador with the goal of setting up a permaculture institute. The Instituto Permacultura El Salvador (IPES) came to fruition in 2002 as a combination of Rojas work with CEBES, the work of the UK permaculturist Karen Inwood, and Rojas' work to introduce pernaculture to El Salvador. The Institute runs through the work of volunteers and donations.
      From: http://permacultura.com.sv/?page_id=2
    • Results of IPES
      • Protecting Biodiversity
      • Ensuring Food Security and Sovereignty
      • Improving Water and Sanitation
      • Improving Soil
      http://www.foodfirst.org/en/node/1426 http://www.foodfirst.org/en/node/1444
    • Protecting Biodiversity & Encouraging Food Security through IPES
      • Teach farmers to select and save seeds from their crops.
      • Work with farmers to try different seed types for their particular environment or soil conditions.
      • Teach farmers how to store and reproduce their seeds.
      • Creating a seed storage that is adapted to the difficult climate.
      • Circumventing top down agriculture and returning to an agriculture more in synch with traditional practices.
      • Help farmers and families plan the quantity, cost, and quality of the food they grow.
      • Teach families to compost and to control pests through planting insect repellent plants.
      • IPES methods have helped families save money, decrease their debts, and raise additional income.
      • Farmers can engage in commerce and barter with their products.
      From: http://permacultura.com.sv/?page_id=54
    • Improving water, sanitation, and soil
      • Instruct people in how to build rainwater collection tanks
      • Assists communities ensure the safety of their springs by enclosing the spring water in tanks with filtration against silt and animal contamination.
      • IPES teaches how family hygiene and health are linked
      • IPES assists communities to build compost latrines
      • The result is that women's labor is reduced as they do not have to walk so far for water
      • Fewer children are sick from water-borne illnesses
      • Stopping farmers from using the slash and burn method and replacing it instead with methods to protect and renew the soil. This has contributed to cycle that builds soil, diminishes erosion, and increases soil fertility
      http://permacultura.com.sv/?page_id=54 http://permacultura.com.sv/?page_id=54 http://permacultura.com.sv/?page_id=54 http://www.indigenous-permaculture.com/sonsonate.html
    • Juan Rojas discusses the shared links of Salvadoran indigenous culture and Permaculture
    • Conclusion
        Colonialism, land servitude, human-created and other environmental destruction and degradation, war, and falling agricultural prices have impoverished El Salvador's peasant population. However, through the efforts of Juan Rojas and Mesoamerican Permaculture, a re-connection to indigenous knowledge and values, along with a systems approach to land regeneration and yield through Permaculture, a model for personal, community, and environmental sustainability in El Salvador is emerging. This refocus on indigenous foodways and landways is one part of a larger movement across Latin America.
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