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

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Whether it’s explaining the amount of work involved in growing tomatoes, giving advice on feeding chickens or making compost, a Colombian teenager is busy educating people about life at home. closes through a series of videos he produces for Instagram with his older brother. Its objective is to highlight the work of farmers and raise awareness of environmental protection.

Carlos Alberto Díaz Colmenares, 14, lives on a farm in San Francisco, about 50 kilometers from the Colombian capital, Bogotá. He and his family moved there in 2020, just months after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Before, they lived in an apartment in La Vega, a nearby town.

“Agricultural work is difficult, as we ourselves have realized. We must 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 been very familiar with farming. But we decided to spend more time there from 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 back. fit, then my family and I moved there. During the pandemic, other people also left the cities to return to the countryside. I think it shows that we can be happy and live peacefully in the countryside.

In July 2020, Díaz Colmenares started making videos on agricultural work with his older brother Juan, who plays the role of cameraman. They publish their videos on their Instagram account “La Granja del Borrego” (“The Lamb Farm”), which has more than 281,000 subscribers. Some of their 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 genuinely interested. We thought the video would probably get less than 50 views, but in the end it’s really successful[Editor’s note: the first video has more than 10,000 views]. So we decided to continue even though at first I was really 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 funny.

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

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

“Farmers often lose what they grow, especially because of weather events, even if it is their livelihood”I think it is very important to show that farming is difficult, as we ourselves have realized. It must therefore be valued and supported.

For example, three months after planting the tomatoes, and after all the cultivation work, they were all destroyed by the fungi. Farmers often lose what they grow, especially due to weather events, even though it is their livelihood.

In order to support the farmers, you can buy their products directly from them at the market, at a fair price, as the products 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 that we consume due to all the work involved in growing them, as well as the difficulties faced by Colombian farmers, including floods, droughts and even armed groups.

Having said that, we also try to show with our videos how much fun you can have in the countryside, especially with animals. I also try to raise awareness of environmental protection, making suggestions for living in a more sustainable way.

We’re trying to make some money from the videos, which we also post on YouTube, but we’re not doing much at the moment.

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

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

Currently, Díaz Colmenares attends distance school while living on the family farm. In the short term, he would like to start selling products from the farm and other local producers in Bogotá, at a fair price. Ultimately, he would like to study animal health.

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

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