Alec’s Garden Project came about after a young Wichi girl died of protein deficiency. Wichi families have traditionally grown a few crops to supplement their diet, but this has proved more difficult in recent times. Vast areas of Chaco land have been cleared so that commercial farms can grow crops such as beans and cotton. The environmental changes caused by this deforestation means that there are higher summer temperatures and more frequent droughts and flooding.
Alec, who has a background in agriculture, felt sure that the situation for Wichi families could be improved, if they had some support and learnt good gardening techniques. Thus the “Yachuyaj wo” (Wichi word for Gardener) project was born. The secret to good harvests is incorporating drip irrigation and providing good seed. Alec’s vision is that the Wichi can live sustainably and with dignity in their own lands, neither depending on donations nor having to migrate in search of work. Both the garden project and Siwok Crafts help enable this vision to be fulfilled.