World Neighbours Associate appointed Minister of Agriculture in Guatemala 

Representatives of the Oliver-based World Neighbours Canada (WNC) organization are celebrating a recent announcement that a long-time friend and colleague, Elmer Lopez Rodriguez, has been appointed as Guatemala’s Minister of Agriculture.

On Jan. 14, Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina announced the appointment of Lopez Rodrigez, who had been serving as the Secretary for Rural Affairs.

World Neighbours Canada President Bruce Petch said Elmer was formerly the representative for World Neighbors (U.S). in Central America, and had been a key partner for World Neighbours Canada until he was appointed to the government.

“He is a brilliant and compassionate rural development practitioner and agronomist,” Petch said, adding Elmer worked closely with the group in setting up the La Esperanza program in Honduras.

The La Esperanza Development Program is a long-term program in Honduras, being implemented by Vecinos Honduras, World Neighbours Canada’s major partner in the region. The program’s objectives are to experiment, adapt and spread sustainable agriculture technologies; to strengthen local leadership and management capacity; to promote community and family health practices and to replicate the program in other communities.