Agros International. Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Rural Guatemala.
Chi-Dooh “Skip” Li, a lawyer in Seattle, saw something of the poverty that plagues farming families in Guatemala. He lived in Guatemala for three years as a young boy before moving to the United States. “This poverty went back hundreds of years to the time when the Spanish Conquistadors came and took land—vast, vast swaths of land—from the indigenous peoples. That kind of poverty creates a sense of despair that is unspoken, but always present. We had to defeat that despair,” Li explains. Defeating this despair and enabling farmers to own land is Agros’ mission. With the help of donors, Agros International purchases large tracts of land. Rural families begin to make a profit and work toward owning the land. Over seven or eight years with the profit from their businesses, farmers can pay for the land. In 2020, Agros villagers received 758 land titles! That is amazing. For Skip Li, it is what he can do as a Christian. “There is no dignity in receiving gifts; The dignity is from their hard work to pay off the land. You can see the sense of dignity in their faces: ‘I am somebody because I own my own land.'”
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