Manos Cambiadas is a local tradition that connects community members and visitors from various backgrounds to local subsistence farmers to accompany them in the work that needs more than their hands can generate.
This is "many hands make light work" in action — people coming together across cultures to support and learn from the receiving farmer.
"I don’t need any more capacity building.
I need accompaniment."
Don Gerardo (Local Producer)
Past activities have included:
Harvesting rice in the traditional way to strengthen the farmer’s capacity to maintain this way of producing
Cutting, gathering and splitting palm leaves for the roof of a cabin that will offer visitors a tour of the process of harvesting palmito (heart of palm)
Building greenhouse garden beds from bamboo to enable income opportunities for a local family
At Los Higuerones, we believe that community accompaniment and honoring local traditions are fundamental to our work of supporting a resilient local community and bioregional economy here on the Osa Peninsula. Manos Cambiadas is a perfect example of this. We have built strong relationships based on unconditional support and trust with many regional producers and people doing essential work here on the Osa. This project was developed through listening and responding to the real needs of the communities we partner with.
Reciprocity in Action
As a volunteer, you will have the opportunity to learn from and help out experienced farmers, many of whom have been on the land for generations. They are utilizing various agricultural methods, often developed through a creative process of working with what is available in their environment. Many are still using traditional farming methods to produce a variety of crops. It is highly demanding work and the financial return is rarely equal to the labor required. This inhibits many farmers from achieving economic independence and results in younger generations choosing to pursue alternative work.
Manos Cambiadas facilitates direct accompaniment and a chance for learning, connecting and fun for all involved, while simultaneously supporting those producing the food that nourishes us. By no means is Manos Cambiadas easy work! It is a physically intensive activity that provides a realistic and unparalleled glimpse into the daily life of farmers in the Osa and the many challenges and possibilities they face.
Join Hands With Local Farmers
Interested in supporting our Manos Cambiados program? You can get involved by joining our next excursion or providing support to sustain this initiative.
After 2+ years of incubating the Manos Cambiados, this program has made an iteration into a different form, organized by PIAR (Proyecto Integral de Agricultura Regenerativa). To find out more about this project, including how you can support it and upcoming dates for Manos Cambiados, please visit our support page.
Local producers supported through our work
Cajas de Abundancia supplied to families in need