Euler Fueltala lives with his wife and three children in the northern highlands of Ecuador in a small rural-community called San-Francisco de La Libertad. He works as community promoter and field technician for Ekorural and has been involved in several other initiatives as well. This small story is an introduction to how local leaders like Euler make a change in the lives of local producers in rural-communities.
Euler grew up in San-Francisco de la Libertad where he met his wife Elena Fueltala at 21 years of age. In his youth Euler has had some disturbing years and did not enjoy an education. Because many of the youth living in rural-areas find it hard to see the benefit of living there, many of them migrate from rural to urban areas where they hope to find better opportunities in life (ECLAC/HABITAT, 2000). Luckily, Euler found a great example in his brother, who also remained in the community, and, when he married Elena, his vision of and mission in life really started to change for the better.
Some of the problems that small local producers such as Euler have to deal with is difficulty in getting access to well-paid markets and competition with large-scale farms that are able to sell their products in bulk and at low prices. Euler is not just concerned about the livelihood of small local producers, but also about the negative environmental impact of indutrial agriculture. By rescuing and investigating in traditional seeds, Euler is working to bring back the lost cultivars and seeds that once used to provide food and livelihood his community’s ancestors. As Euler explains, the hybrid seeds used this century require more chemical assistance to grow, which damages our health and the environment (Gibson, A; S.O.S: Save our Seeds, 2009). Additionally, Euler would like to alleviate the market-access issue by strengthening the exchange and interaction between the producers and consumers from different communities in order to share knowledge and local products. Someday, he hopes this does not just occur between highland communities, but also between communities in different ecological regions, such as the coast and the highlands.
Apart from his work with EkoRural, Euler is involved in a micro-credit group, which he helped found. He also founded a Farmer Field School, in which the participants are experimenting with different types of grasses and learning to execute an Agro-Ecosystem Analysis.
Please take a moment to watch this video to learn more about Euler Fueltala and how he is helping to transform the agricultural systems in his community.
Anne Gibson. (2009). S.O.S=Save our Seeds. Why it’s so important to be Seed Savers & Plant Breeders. 26 (11), 26.
ECLAC/HABITAT. (2000). Based on CEPAL, División de Población – Centro Latinoamericano y Caribeño de Demografía (CELADE), América Latina: Proyecciones de población urbana y rural: 1970-2025 , Boletín demográfico, año 23, No 63 (LC/G.2052; LC/DEM/G.183), Santiago de Chile, enero de 1999.