A Woman’s Place is … In Charge of the Farm

Ever since she was a little girl helping her father on his farm, Gloria has always been involved in agriculture. It’s just that now it’s become a sustainable way of life.

Before she met her husband, she was working on coffee farms and had become an expert in crop management and taking cuttings for propagation. But when they married, they faced a lot of hardship. She and Ignacio had nowhere to live and lacked steady jobs, so they ended up working as day laborers wherever they could find work. Gloria often served as a housekeeper on coffee or cattle farms while raising their three children. They managed to build a tiny, humble home, and Ignacio would travel farther afield to work so they could get ahead. Eventually they put away enough money to buy some land to farm.

A community leader invited Gloria to a meeting where technicians from local partner Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes de Nicaragua (ACJ) introduced the concept of the Farmer Field School. She was intrigued with the methodology they described, especially since she didn’t know how to grow vegetables, some of which she’d never even heard of.

Her first attempts at gardening weren’t successful, but with time and the advice and support of the technician, she learned and improved. Soon her family had enough surplus vegetables from the garden right next to the house to give to friends or sell. Gloria continued to learn about organic farming, soil health, harvesting, storage, seed selection and pest control. She’s deeply satisfied that her daughters are also learning crop management, and she’s no longer anxious if her husband travels for work because they can help her now. Plus, they’re accumulating valuable skills for their own future.

“I’m confident in my ability to produce in the field even though many people think I can’t just because I’m a woman. Through this program, I have a diversified farm to help lower my risks in the event of disaster. I’ve increased my skills and decision-making power. After considering several small business possibilities, I’m baking homemade bread for sale now to generate more income. I’m also participating in community and school activities as a head of household and leader. Other women farmers and I are proud of our ability to express ourselves and serve others.”

Nicaragua Boaco Camoapa
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes de Nicaragua (ACJ)

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