How a Colombian teenager uses social media to highlight the work of farmers

From explaining how much work is involved in growing tomatoes to giving advice on how to feed the chickens or make compost, a Colombian teenager is busy educating people about life on the farm through a series of videos he produces for Instagram with his older brother. . Its aim is to highlight the work of farmers and raise awareness about how to protect the environment.

Fourteen-year-old Carlos Alberto Díaz Colmenares lives on a farm in San Francisco, about 50 kilometers from the Colombian capital, Bogotá. He and his family moved there in 2020, just a few months after the Covid-19 pandemic began. They used to live in an apartment in La Vega, a nearby town.

“Farm work is hard, as we have realized ourselves. We need to value it and support it ”.

This farm has been in my family for over 20 years, so we used to go there regularly before the pandemic and my parents have always known a lot about farming. But we decided to spend more time there starting in May 2020, two months after the start of the lockdown because it was already easier to get out at that time.

The farm was in poor condition, so we worked until the end of July to get it in shape and then my family and I moved there. During the pandemic, other people also left cities to return to the countryside. I think that shows that we can be happy and live in peace in the country.

In July 2020, Díaz Colmenares began making videos about agricultural work with his older brother Juan, who has the role of cameraman. They publish their videos on their Instagram account “La Granja del Borrego”, which has more than 281,000 followers. Some of his videos have garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

We shot our first video on July 9, 2020. We had started planting tomatoes and cucumbers and decided to film the process to see if people were really interested. We thought the video would probably get less than 50 views, but in the end, it was really successful. [Editor’s note: the first video has more than 10,000 views]. So we decided to move on even though, at first, I was very shy because I wasn’t used to being filmed.

Díaz Colmenares and his brother posted their first video on their Instagram account “La Granja del Borrego” on July 9, 2020.

We try to make quality videos. We want to teach people things. So I share what I learn on the farm, but I also make it fun.

In this video, Díaz Colmenares explains how to prevent chickens from eating their own eggs.

Here, Díaz Colmenares shows three common mistakes people make when trying to compost.

“Farmers often lose what they grow, especially due to weather events, even though it is their livelihood.”

I think the most important thing is to show that farming is difficult, as we have realized ourselves. Therefore, it must be valued and supported.

For example, three months after we planted the tomatoes, and after all the work of growing them, they were all destroyed by fungi. Farmers often lose what they grow, especially due to weather events, even though that is their livelihood.

To support the farmers, you can buy their products directly from the market, at a fair price, because the products that are sold in the supermarket are often not bought from the farmers at a fair price.

In this video, Díaz Colmenares shows how important it is to value the tomatoes we eat for all the work that their cultivation implies, as well as the difficulties that Colombian farmers face such as floods, droughts and even armed groups.

That said, we also try to show with our videos how much fun you can have in the country, especially with the animals. I also try to raise awareness about protecting the environment, making suggestions on how to live more sustainably.

We try to raise a little money from the videos, which we also post on YouTube, but we’re not really making much of it right now.

In this video, Díaz Colmenares shows how he organizes “farm Olympics” with his dogs.

In this video, Díaz Colmenares advises people on how to live more sustainably, for example, by eating less meat or growing vegetables.

Right now, Díaz Colmenares attends school remotely while living on the family farm. In the short term, you would like to start selling products from the farm and other local producers in Bogotá, for a fair price. In the long term, you would like to study animal health.

About 32 percent of Colombians are considered farmers, according to a study by the Department of Statistics. Most of them are considered “poor”, according to this department.

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