Bridging Agricultural Communities to Sustainability in Nicaragua

Bridging.Agros.Coffee Field School 2015

Project Description
In the rugged hills of rural Nicaragua, Agros International partners with agricultural families to build communities that empower them to change their lives. Agros helps people gain the expertise and experience they need to free themselves from exploitation and grow thriving agricultural businesses by providing training in business, agriculture, and finance, and providing access to housing, health care, sanitation and clean water.

We invest from day one in developing leadership and ownership among partner families with the intention that in 8 to 10 years the community will be fully self-sustainable. Families are offered the transformational opportunity to become landowners, earning the title to the land on which they live by paying off a carefully personalized loan. Children who may have been sick due to lack of health care have access to doctors and education. Mothers receive prenatal care and nutritional training. Subsistence farming makes way for robust, market-driven crop production.

This year in Nicaragua, Agros launches our first regional project that bridges our traditional village model to regional impact in agricultural and health training, sanitation, and more. Over the estimated 8-year life of the project, we will work with approximately 800 families to strengthen agricultural knowledge and production, family health and nutrition, and market knowledge and access. In 2015, we welcomed the first 50 families onto the land where they will live and build their new farming businesses. Concurrently, we will also continue our outreach to regional families by providing training in agriculture, nutrition, and health.

Benefits
“I’ve always been a fighter,” says Rosario, a farmer and entrepreneur in Tierra Nueva, Nicaragua, and single mother of three.

Hard work is nothing new to Rosario, who began working full-time in the fields as a day laborer with her father at age 17. Before moving to Tierra Nueva, Rosario worked alongside men, harvesting coffee and cutting weeds with a machete. It was a hard way to earn a living for her three children.

When the opportunity arose to work with Agros, Rosario didn’t hesitate. She immediately noticed that there were no stores in the community, so she decided to take a risk: she invested all of her savings in a small store that she runs from her home.

The store is not Rosario’s only hope for the future. She is also investing in future coffee harvests. “I’m trying to fill my land with coffee plants,” she says, knowing coffee often produces a higher return than other traditional crops like corn and beans.

Like many partners in Tierra Nueva, Rosario would never have dared to try to plant coffee without the technical and physical support of Agros’ agricultural staff. “Agros has helped us a lot,” she says. “They have helped us with the materials, helped us know how to have better harvests. Through their technical support, we have had better harvests and more earnings.”

With Rosario, we invite you to join us on this incredible journey of empowerment and transformation.

Readers can help by
Tierras de Vida Annual Dinner: We invite individuals and corporations to sponsor a table at our annual fundraising event, Tierras de Vida. Email us at [email protected] to learn more or to become a sponsor.

Direct from the Field Updates and Webinars: We host quarterly updates near our offices in Seattle, WA. For those not able to attend the events in person, we occasionally host a web-based update. To learn more or attend, email Claire at [email protected].

One Seed Gift Catalog: Find meaningful gift ideas that help families in need, such as fluffy chicks or an acre of seed. We’ll send your loved one a personalized card informing them of your caring gift. One Seed gifts support Agros’ work in Central America. Find your next gift at
agros.org/oneseed.

Agros International’s work is made possible through donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations who support our mission to end poverty. Visit us on the web: www.agros.org. Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AgrosIntl. Contact a Philanthropy Services Officer for a personal introduction: [email protected].

Project Contact:
Christa Countryman

Email:
[email protected]

Phone:
206.528.1066

Project URL:
www.agros.org/Our-Communities/Nicaragua/Regional-Project

Location:
Nicaragua, Matagalpa Region

Project Impact:
Over the estimated 8-year life of the project, we will work with approximately 800 families (5,000 people) to strengthen agricultural knowledge and production, family health and nutrition, and market knowledge and access.

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