Nicaragua Rio Coco
$40,320 needed of $205,000
Church World Service (CWS)
Responding to the food and nutritional challenges of families living in extreme poverty in a remote area vulnerable to natural disasters, local partner Christian Medical Action (AMC) works with host communities to promote innovative farming concepts. The program works in 15 indigenous and mestizo rural communities to improve food security by helping farmers improve their farming and soil management techniques, strengthening knowledge of nutrition, and coordinating work with the local government. AMC is also continuing to work through the farmer field schools they constructed in earlier phases of this program. In this phase, they are training young adults (women and men) in innovative production and nutritional practices by integrating themes of gender, natural resource management techniques, and risk management.
A Self-Taught Farmer Teaches Her Neighbors
Not too many years ago, Miriam had no experience as a farmer. But she’s shown such ability that she’s been selected by the program to receive additional training as a “promotora,” teaching and supporting other farmers so they get good results using a variety of sustainable techniques.
She was raised in a little village on the Coco River, which separates Nicaragua and Honduras. Her parents couldn’t afford to send her to school, and she’s always regretted that. At 20, Miriam found work as a cook in a bigger town, returning two years later to get married and raise eight children. She learned to farm because she had to in order to support her large family.
Miriam grows her family’s food on about 120 acres, 75 under cultivation, the rest forested. She uses income from her farm to put her children through school so they won’t experience her same regrets. One of the eldest is studying veterinary science.
“A couple of years ago, our community leaders chose me to be an agricultural promoter to further my skills and help my neighbors,” Miriam says. She is happy to be an example for other farmers, both men and women.
Agricultural promoters participate in classes and information sessions at local training centers, where they also use sample gardens to test different ways of cultivating plants. They learn and experiment with different techniques for growing crops and raising animals, and then they put what they learn into practice on their own land.
Thanks to Your Support and Generosity
• The whole community benefits from the learning that goes on at the agricultural centers
• Promoters commit to sharing what they learn with at least two neighbors
Nicaragua Río Coco Program
Led by Church World Service and local partner Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC)