Women’s Vegetable Providers Group of Sumpango - Nancy Paola Chun Chun is spreading the word to women in her indigenous mother tongue

A 29-year-old married mother of two daughters, Nancy Paola Chun Chun, had only completed fourth grade when, in 2009, she decided to join the Grupo de Mujeres Provedoras de Vegetales de Sumpango (Women’s Vegetable Providers Group of Sumpango), the female offshoot of the men’s cooperative Unión Cuatro Pinos.

As a member of the women’s cooperative, she started growing peas and green beans on a 1 manzana (0.7 hectares) leased field. She now farms 5 manzanas (3.5 hectares), of which she owns 0.7 manzanas (0.5 hectares). Thanks to the income from her ever-growing farm, Nancy has been able to purchase her own place to live, as well as a car.

While growing her farm, Nancy also continued with her education. “I believe that education is of fundamental importance to get ahead in life. However, I not only wanted to educate myself, but also wanted to help other women to learn more”, Nancy explains. Once she finished sixth grade, Nancy had the opportunity to join a diploma program on Gender Studies in the Latin-American School of Integral Education. She is currently in the second year of the program, but has already started developing workshops in “Kaq’chikel”, her mother tongue, to spread the word to other woman groups throughout Guatemala. Nancy has also enrolled in a computer course, where she is learning the basics about how to use a computer.

The cooperative has had a massive impact on the local communities, in particular through adult education, medical controls, and the application of good agricultural practices. Furthermore, by implementing GLOBALG.A.P.’s internal quality management system, the cooperative has also managed to achieve one of the UNs Sustainable Development Goals of “providing access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and putting an end to open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.”

Nancy is active in local politics, currently holding positions as Secretary of the Local Board, as a Member of the Central Board, and as Secretary of the Administrative Board. She has also represented the women’s cooperative at different events and workshops, including at the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans, USA in 2013.