Founded in 2018 | Thousand Currents Partner since 2023

Instituto Agroecológico Latinoamericano Ixim Ulew (IALA Ixim Ulew)

Training rural youth on agroecology in Mesoamerica

Instituto Agroecologico de America Latina Ixim Ulew (IALA Ixim Ulew), which means land of corn in the Mayan K’iche’ language, is an international youth education institution in Nicaragua which was founded by and is part of the network of La Via Campesina’s agroecology schools across Latin America. They provide training in agroecology, leadership skills, and advocacy to the rural youth from the Mesoamerican region. The IALA Ixim Ulew seek to prepare a new generation of youth to not only be able to grow food for local consumption and have productive rural livelihoods but also to create alternative approaches to development, build resilience against the challenges of climate change, and build gender equity through leadership. The school applies participatory and collective methodologies to foster critical analysis of local realities and develops locally-appropriate agroecological practices according to different agro-ecosystems, in accordance with the realities of communities and the region.

The IALA Ixim Ulew’s property in Nicaragua includes land for cultivating vegetables and grains, infrastructure for classes and dormitories, a forest with tropical wildlife, and a creek for bathing and irrigation, as well as pasture and dwellings for farm animals, such as chickens, pigs, and cows. During the peak of the pandemic, they created an online education platform to continue their training activities.  The IALA Ixim Ulew is currently working to strengthen their in-person schedule and cultivate its international student base.