KUNA AGRICULTURE FOUNDATION

A hands-on working farm to promote physical and spiritual health

PURPOSE:
To introduce the Kuna Indians to better farming techniques, gardening, raising small animals for food, teach christian discipleship, and be a Bible Resource for Kuna pastors.

We have 40 acres in the interior of Panama. It is sloping mountainside jungle, like the land farmed by the Kunas. Kuna Yala is the modern name for San Blas.

BACKGROUND:
Starvation was responsible for many infant deaths in San Blas. The prevention was Feeding Centers for the children. We continue to support these centers.

Many Kuna families have moved to Panama for jobs. Often the husband will move and leave the family to fend for itself. They need new methods of assuring the family’s wellbeing.

FARMING:
Each Kuna family owns a farm plot on the mainland across the bay from the island. The Project will teach appropriate modern farming techniques with methods adaptable to their area.

GARDENING:
When the Kunas were first exposed to the modern world they were a hunting and fishing society with some slash and burn farming. They did not have vegetables in their diet. They considered vegetable rabbit food. Now they have lived in Panama city and have learned to eat vegetables. But they do not know how to garden.

We will teach container gardening and how to utilize the small areas they have available in their small island villiages

SMALL ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
Training in modern animal husbandry to provide protein: tilapia fish, poultry, goats, and local small animals that can be raised for food.

Upon completion of training, students will be given two types of animals to raise for food and commerce. The feed for the animals will be grown locally, as supply ships from Panama are expensive and unreliable.

SET UP:
The farm will be set up with the different animals at different stages of their life cycle to give the students hands on experience.

PASTORS’ AGRICULTUAL PROGRAMS:
Many of our Kuna pastors work on islands on which they were not born and can therefore never own land. Because support from the Kuna churches, especially on small islands, is very low, they need to supplement their income. Pastors cannot leave their churches for an extended period of time so concentrated courses will be provided.

BIBLE STUDY FOR THE REGULAR STUDENTS:
We will teach through Bible stories. When the students leave, they will be encouraged to tell one story each week to one or more persons.

BIBLE RESOURCE CENTER:
To supply training and resources to pastors. As we have lay pastors with a eighth grade education, up to those with seminary degrees, we will prepare several different levels of Seminary training.

HOW GOD GOT US STARTED:
Our mission was concerned because the fish around the San Blas Islands were dying out. We were looking into the idea of developing fresh water talapia farms on each of the islands, but were advised by experienced agricultural missionaries that the most efficient method was to set up a central agricultural school.

In one of the board meetings Jane Gruver explained the idea of an agriculture school. Someone asked "How much money we have for a fish farm?" The answer - $5.00. Everyone laughed. She said: "Don't laugh, Jesus feed the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish." She then put a $5 bill on the table and said: "Here, God, here is our $5."

The next morning, we received a letter from a lawyer informing us one of our supporters had died and had left us $75,000. God was telling us to Build the Agricultural School.

SAN BLAS MEDICAL MISSION:
A 501-3C non-profit organization incorporated in North Dakota, located in Penney Farms, Florida.

         

 KUNA AGRICULTURE FOUNDATION:
Set up in Panama as a non-profit, religeous foundation for the benefit of Indigenous groups in Panama.