Seed Programs International

Manuel Laynez Anay, President General, ASO-Ixil

Manuel Laynez Anay, President General, ASO-Ixil

Dear Supporters,

Today we want to share the story of the origin of ASO-Ixil, our project partner in Guatemala.

The dream of a Maya Ixil farmer’s coop started with childhood friends: born during a civil war, fear and hunger were the everyday experiences of their childhood. In childhood games they organized their friends to create jobs, and provide food for hungry children and old people. They dreamed and planned to make opportunities that their parents did not have.

When he was 8 years old, Manuel Laynez’ mother gave him a piglet. He raised the pig and sold it. With the profit he bought 4 more pigs. Manuel’s pig business paid for his school tuition and began the path toward his vision of a farmer co-op.

Twenty years later Manuel was a university student studying Business Administration. He walked 22 miles through the mountains to catch a bus that took him to Antigua, Guatemala where he had a scholarship for a conversational English Program. His instructor in that program and Bright Star Philanthropy Partners became the catalysts that helped bring to reality the dreams of childhood into a Non Profit Association of 99 farm families: the Association of Farmers for the Social Development of the Maya Ixil.

Manuel Laynez is in the above photo by himself.  The type of jacket he wears is unique to this community of Maya Ixil. They are woven on a backstrap loom and it takes months to weave the fabric for a jacket.

In the group photo below, left to right:

Gaspar Rigoberto Caba Gallego Director of Communications

Manuel Laynez Anay, President General and legal representative

Henry Escobar Caba, Vice President and Agronomist

Noe Olegario Santiago Caba, Director of Finance CPA

The photo is taken on the steps of the Catholic Church in Chajul, Guatemala. During the childhood of these 4 young men, this church was occupied by the government army which committed atrocities against the civilian population.

ASO-Ixil Board Members

ASO-Ixil Board Members


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Seed Programs International (SPI)

Seed Programs InternationalSeed Programs International (SPI) is a non-profit, tax exempt, non-governmental humanitarian organization.

We work thorough other humanitarian organizations, church groups, service clubs and individual donors, to provide quality seed to impoverished communities in developing countries enabling them to grow some of their own food. In addition to seed, SPI provides critical seed expertise and experience operating seed based self help programs.”

SPI is operated by individuals with over 50 years seed industry experience plus over 20 years experience in vegetable research and production. We also have 15 years experience operating programs that have successfully shipped seed to over 70 countries on five continents. SPI has shipped enough seed to plant over 1,000,000 vegetable gardens, providing more than 20 kinds of vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals often missing in people’s diets.