North Suburban Mennonite Church | Libertyville, Illinois
North Suburban Mennonite Church | Libertyville, Illinois
North Suburban Mennonite Church | Libertyville, Illinois

Tierra Nueva

Overview of Tierra Nueva

Tierra Nueva is a Christian organization which began working first in the municipality of Minas de Oro, Comayagua in 1982 and later in 1984 in San Luis, Comayagua. The primary objective of Tierra Nueva has been to combat hunger and poverty and improve the overall quality of life in these rural areas of Honduras through holistic development. Because Tierra Nueva works in agricultural areas, the overriding focus has been farm production improvement and diversification through sustainable methods. Tierra Nueva has also provided training in preventative health, nutrition, conflict resolution, literacy, sewing, Biblical reflection and human development. The program has also worked in community organization, problem solving and constructing community water projects.

Teach by Example

The methodology of Tierra Nueva is simple – education. The education model in itself is also simple – teach by example and share what you learn based on your own experience. It has followed religiously the idea of giving a hand-up not a hand-out. The organization seeks to motivate by way of example and testimony to create the effects of long term change. Change begins inside the person and manifests itself in how that person lives in his or her community, family, and environment. How do you change the soil on an eroded and deforested hillside? It changes as those that farm that hillside learn and change.


Two North American couples and their Honduran counterparts, who had already had some training by other organizations, began the work of Tierra Nueva. They each set up demonstration farms to model sustainable agricultural practices using erosion control technologies for steep hillside farming and organic with some chemical inputs. Impressed with the visible results, farmers came asking for assistance. Courses were then organized in their communities. New farms became established as models using resources available to the farmers.

Eventually Tierra Nueva began training farmer trainers – farmers who had demonstrated their understanding of the technologies on their own farms and were motivated to learn more and share what they were learning with others. In 1987, these farmer trainers and health promoters organized themselves into an association and obtained legal status as The Association for the Development of Honduras, Tierra Nueva.

Tierra Nueva Today

Today the association has 18 part-time promoters – 15 who work in the areas of agriculture and 3 working in the area of health. Over the years, Tierra Nueva has worked in over 100 communities and trained well over 1500 farmers and their families. Presently Tierra Nueva works in 54 communities with about 300 families.

Donations for Tierra Nueva

If you would like to make an online donation to Tierra Nueva, please follow this Donate Now link.

Be sure to write in the Designation box: Honduran Project: San Luis. Please inform Larry Sell by email of your donation.

Tierra Nueva is funded entirely through individual contributions and free-will offerings. Any amount helps, as every dollar donated goes directly to the work in Honduras. Contributions are tax-deductible. Tierra Nueva is a not for profit organization.

Your help will fund the regular family visits to help farmers and their families produce more using sustainable practices. Through these visits we also help families learn better health practices and provide encouragement, prayer, and counseling in difficult times.

Donations can also be made by check: Make checks out to Tierra Nueva. On the bottom MEMO line put HONDURAN PROJECT, SAN LUIS. Send the checks to Larry Sell, 23471 Petite Lake Rd., Lake Villa, IL 60046.

2007 Photos of the Tierra Nueva Project

Matt De Kam and his wife Katie spent two weeks in August visiting Tierra Nueva. For his praticum in Sustainable Agriculture studies at the University of Minnesota, Matt is putting together a study of the coffee farms of Tierra Nueva farmers to help us move toward the possibility of Rainforest Alliance certification. He first learned about Tierra Nueva during a study abroad semester through Calvin College where he and other students had a chance to spend a week with Tierra Nueva farmers. Matt will be returning in the spring to continue the project.

Matt has created a Tierra Nueva photo album of his August 2007 trip.

To learn more about Tierra Nueva, please visit their website and read Larry Sell's July 2014 newsletter.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
Matthew 25:35-36
Tierra Nueva farming Tierra Nueva farming Tierra Nueva farming
For more photos, view the Tierra Nueva photo album