I live in the community of Las Breñas, Kukra River, Nicaragua and have six children and two grand-children. Five years ago my family started with the Suatainable Harvest International program, and we now believe that organic and sustainable farming is the best way to get out of poverty.
As a woman I have felt my dream realized, when I see that my garden produces more each year and with better quality. SHI has made a big change in our lives, given that today my children have different vegetables and our nutrition is better every day.
SHI is an organization that demands continual work, but you see results. I hope that every year, more women have the opportunity of working with SHI, because it’s an organization that benefits our families and teaches us to protect our environment.
~ Marta Rojas, Nicaragua
Ms. Melva Soto was born April 29, 1953 in the rural community of Pagua, in the La Pintada district of Panama. She is a single mother with three daughters and granddaughters who she considers to be her biggest source of inspiration.
In her community she is known as “Doña Melva” or “Mama Tita," and is held in esteem by the townspeople. As a young woman she promoted many social activities, including the formation of a youth artisans group that makes “Sombreros Pintados,” or painted hats. She encourages the students to put forth their best talents and at the same time, earn income for their families. She later formed a group of farming families and served as treasurer and coordinator of many collaborative community improvement projects including road improvements, bridge, aqueduct, and school construction, as well as other agricultural and environmental projects.
We want to share another story of a successful woman who, through her work with SHI, is lifting her family out of poverty.
Widow Farms to Feed Her Family
Ms. Gertrudis Salazar is 57 years old and lives with her son and three grandchildren in Las Breñas, Nicaragua. Gertrudis began working with SHI-Nicaragua five years ago after her husband passed away.
We want to share with you the story of another inspiring SHI participant, Sr. Marcial Urbina:
At a young age, Marcial Urbina moved away from his hometown in the Boaco region of Nicaragua to look for work in the banana plantations and in the extraction of rubber. By working hard as a laborer in these industries, he was able to buy a bit of land in the community of La Pichinga. He dreamed of having a dignified life with his family and his community.
He is now 69 years old and has lived in La Pichinga for forty years. He is married with three children and seven grandchildren. His hope for working with Sustainable Harvest is that his community should improve its standard of living while protecting the environment. He hopes that through this, he can leave a great and selfless legacy to future generations.
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Voices from the Field