Rural Nicaragua Ag Extension Project

Better agriculture, better farm animals, better land management, better food, better nutrition, better income! These are aims of the “Rural Nicaragua Ag Extension Project,” a collaborative effort of the community of Talolinga, the Adams County Young Grower Alliance (an initiative of Penn State Extension) and Project Gettysburg/León.

The project, conceived in 2010, began with the training of a local Talolingan, Javier Espinoza, as an extensionist who is sharing his knowledge and skills with the community. His challenging task is to introduce new practices in crop diversification, in composting, in identifying and controlling pests and weeds, in soil improvement, in erosion control, in irrigation techniques, and in raising organic family gardens! School gardens, organic demonstration plots and women’s farming groups are driving this initiative.

In 2013 a second training program was added for an extensionist with veterinary skills. As a result, Marvin, also from Talolinga, has begun his preparation to be the veterinary extensionist. The agricultural and veterinary facets of the program in Talolinga have been so encouraging that in 2014 a third young man will begin training in agroforestry. Years of deforestation in Nicaragua for firewood has caused a significant problem, and there is a need for people knowledgeable about the planting and proper care of trees.

Why Talolinga? Ride horseback for an hour up the steep, rocky road and you’ll appreciate the remoteness of this community of about 80 families at 3,000 feet above sea level.  The average income, almost exclusively dependent on agriculture, is between $3 and $4 per day. Visit the people and you will get a sense of their kindness and humble nature along with the challenges and needs they face daily.

Why Talolinga? PGL has maintained a relationship with this community both in cultural exchange and development work for over 23 years! Year after year the people of Talolinga have graciously hosted delegations, and PGL has partnered with community leaders to carry out a range of projects, from drinking-water wells to latrines to a revolving loan fund for farmers.

Sponsor This Project!Your monthly contribution of $20 will help with the purchase of supplies for the extension agent and the families and farmers whom he instructs.