The goal of this project is for rural households to achieve sustainable agriculture-based livelihoods.
The project supports creating the future pipeline of small producers in Paraguay. Volunteers in the Agriculture (AG) sector in Paraguay are assigned to high schools focused on agriculture, called Bachillerato Tecnico Agropecuario (BTA). The project has a 6-year Peace Corps presence in AG in each of these communities - 3 generations of Volunteers, each serving for two years. The idea is that through Volunteer support in strengthening students’ learning and formation in agriculture, that more of the graduates of these schools work in agriculture or pursue further education related to agriculture after high school. Each generation has specific objectives for working with students and their farming families. Volunteers departing in the fall of 2020 are Generation 2; Volunteers in this cohort will be following-up a Generation 1 Volunteer in their community. These communities are the departments (or states) of: Caaguazu, Cordillera, San Pedro, Central, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones and Paraguari.
Generation 1: Crop Cultivation
AG Volunteers co-facilitate classes in agricultural production (gardens, field crops and soil recuperation) with counterparts at schools (grades 7-12). They also work with families on agricultural production.
Generation 2: Small Scale Animal Husbandry (including beekeeping and fish farming)
AG Volunteers co-facilitate classes in animal husbandry, including beekeeping and fish farming, with counterparts at schools (grades 7-12). With counterparts they will also train grades 7-8 on agricultural production and soil recuperation, including bio-intensive gardens and agroforestry. They will also work with previously identified families from Generation 1; as well as identify new families with whom to apply techniques and practices.
Generation 3: Post-Harvest Management and Commercialization
AG Volunteers with counterparts will co-facilitate classes in post-harvest management, business skills, value chains and income-generation at schools (grades 7-12). AG Volunteers will coach recent graduates to train grades 7-8 on concepts covered by previous generations. They will also work with previously identified and new families on agricultural production, animal husbandry, post-harvest management and commercialization.
All three generations of volunteers will work with counterparts to train youth in agricultural extension techniques with families to improve agricultural practices and incorporate the scientific method and critical thinking into their teaching methodology. Volunteers will also work with counterparts in teaching nutrition and the preparation of nutritious meals. Volunteers may also provide support in teaching agroforestry, basic business skills/financial literacy) and farm planning.
Volunteers will work with grades 7-12. AG Volunteers work 16 - 20 hours/week at the school, of which 8 – 10 hours are in the classroom while the other hours at the school will be with the students outside of the classroom in the school garden, with experimental plots and/or doing other activities. Volunteers will also work with 3-6 farming families on small scale animal husbandry and the other topics. Small scale animal husbandry includes: poultry, pigs, sheep, goats, cuniculture, beekeeping, fish and bovine production. Volunteers also work with recent high school graduates to support activities both in the school and with farming families as an initiation into a career of agricultural extension work. The principle objective of the sector is to assist students, recent graduates and farming families in understanding and implementing sustainable food production for improved nutrition and income generation – promoting sustainable livelihoods. AG Volunteers are expected to work with both schools and families. In some sites, Volunteers will also work with extension agents and/or organized farming committees. AG Volunteers in each generation are trained together under one assignment description, meaning they will work on the same project framework and its related activities in their communities.
PC/Paraguay is excited to welcome enthusiastic and resilient AG Volunteers who are dedicated to serving the people of Paraguay. The sector strategy is new; chosen Volunteers are expected to show understanding and flexibility. Please keep this in mind while deciding if this is the project for you.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check