Seed Programs International

Joline proudly shows eggplant grown in Mena, Haiti

Joline proudly shows eggplant grown in Mena, Haiti

Remember your support of our vegetable seed program in Haiti, last Fall? It may feel like long ago, but believe it or not, your gift is still reaping harvests for people facing hunger all over northern Haiti. Our partner there, Ayiti Konsevet (AKV) and many school/home seed recipients are still working hard to bring your gift to fruition. There has been a drought in Haiti for much of the first half of the year, but rains have recently started.

Recently, Wedly Deceus, AKV agronomist, visited a remote area called Mena where seeds had been provided in order to follow up and offer support. You will not find Mena on a map, but you can find Plezans (Plaisance), and Mena is across the river.

Preparing soil
Preparing soil

With all of your generous support, we sailed past our goal for this project which results in a stronger agricultural training program and a little more money to buy tools and needed supplies to boost the success rate in growing these needed vegetables. 

Seeds are being sent this week to Alex Larkin in Washington state who will carry them to the Ixil region when he visits at the end of March. Selected seeds include: 200 packets each of winter squash, summer squash, beet, cabbage, cucumber, mustard greens, and tomatoes; 300 packets each of broccoli, carrot, and yellow onion; 100 packets of radish. With the high altitude of this part of Central America, cool-weather crops can be grown which are not feasible in some other parts of the tropics. 

The Roya coffee rust disease which decimated 80% of Central American coffee crops this year has made this project even more critically important. The farmers of ASO-Ixil had first come together with a coffee production co-op in mind. With that income in jeopardy, food needs escalate and the vegetables will be essential.

The following letter - seen in the attached image - was received by Alex Larkin (translated from Spanish) from the ASO-Ixil Board:

Dear Mr Larkin,
By means of this message, please accept our warm greetings on behalf of the administration of ASO-Ixil . We wish that all of your activities bless you and benefit your spirit.The aim of the present note is to THANK YOU for working so hard for the fundraiser for the seeds for ASO-Ixil farmers. We and the farmers are so grateful to you for the effort to benefit the welfare of the Ixil people. In God we trust that we will reach the amount of the goal. and hopefully this is neither the first nor the last donation for the Ixil people. There are great needs in the areas of education, malnutrition, clothing, and more.

Without further ado, we are very grateful to you.
Manuel Laynez Anay, General President
Henry Escobar Caba, Vice President
Gaspar Rigoberta Caba Gallego, Director of Communication
Noe Olegario Santiago Caba, Director of Finance
We at Seed Programs International and Bright Star Philanthropy Partners extend these same heartfelt thanks to you, as donors who make all of this possible.

Thank you letter from ASO-Ixil Board

Thank you letter from ASO-Ixil Board

Participatory Farmer Research in Honduras

Participatory Farmer Research in Honduras

Dear Project Supporters,

We continue in our quest to fund this project for the deserving participatory Honduran farmer group, FIPAH. Please use the share links at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/seeds-for-honduras/share/ to spread the word about the need for vegetable seeds and training in these communities.

Meanwhile, I wanted to let you know a little bit about the context of hunger in Honduras. We are encouraged in crowdfunding to tell the most personal stories possible, to put you, the donor, in the shoes of the individuals you are being asked to support. For most of us, myself included, the power to move us to give is in the expression on the face of a hungry child in a photograph, or the joy of an adult harvesting fresh vegetables from a field.

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


Contact Us

Seed Programs International

PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815


Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)

Registered Charity No. 839858107RR0001
Lombardy, ON

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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.