Campesino a Campesino tells the inspiring story of a true grassroots movement: poor peasant farmers teaching one another how to protect their environment while still earning a living. The first book in English about the farmer-led sustainable agriculture movement in Latin America, Campesino a Campesino includes lots of first-person stories and commentary from the farmer-teachers, mixing personal accounts with detailed analysis of the political, socioeconomic, and ecological factors that galvanized the movement.
Many years ago, author Eric Holt-Giménez was a volunteer trying to teach sustainable agriculture techniques in the dusty highlands of central Mexico, with little success. Near the end of his tenure, he invited a group of visiting Guatemalan farmers to teach a course in his village. What he saw was like nothing he had known. The Guatemalans used parables, stories, and humor to present agricultural improvement to their Mexican compadres as a logical outcome of clear thinking and compassion; love of farming, of family, of nature, and of community. Rather than try to convince the Mexicans of their innovations, they insisted they experiment new things on a small scale first to see how well they worked. And they saw themselves as students, respecting the Mexicans’ deep, lifelong knowledge of their own particular land and climate. All they asked in return was that the Mexicans turn around and share their new knowledge with others—which they did.