Fresh water for two brothers

After driving out of Teustepe, (a town in Northern Nicaragua), for 45 minutes on a rocky path and crossing a couple dry rivers, we finally arrived in the small, dusty village of Agua Caliente. The landscape looks bleak due to the past two years of drought. A few underdeveloped crop fields are visible through the breaks in the trees.

Two small boys were among the first to run up to the pick up truck to greet us. Jose and Joan were soon met by more children who walked with us to the small unpainted quarry block house.

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Sugeyli and her two sons

“You Have Given to Us and Expect Nothing Back”

Come in to see our chancha!” Oscar and his older brother Witer ran ahead of us as their mother excitedly invited us into their house to see their large pig which had recently given birth to 12 piglets.

We followed, expecting to walk out the back door after entering the house, but the two brothers turned into the small, smoke-filled kitchen. There she was, their pride and joy, snout to the hard dirt floor, hunting for food with her 12 little pink piglets.

For Sugeyli, this family of pigs living in her kitchen eases her worry about her sons not having enough to eat. These pigs give her hope for their future.

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With New Skills, El Ingenio Leaders Move Forward

Polvazal, and all the new communities in the Jinotepe region, have the potential to achieve a lot with CEPAD, said Cesar Chavez, a community leader from El Ingenio, one of the communities finishing its time five years with CEPAD.

“If they are serious, responsible and grateful they will see amazing results like we did,” Cesar said. After five years with CEPAD, the community has learned new agricultural techniques, created new opportunities for youth and women and developed an organizational structure that will carry the community into the future, Cesar said.

The community development committee there has already made progress — they successfully petitioned the local government to improve the road that goes through the community to improve access to schools and jobs. The road has improved access to goods and means it will be easier to implement future infrastructure projects.

“We haven’t achieved everything we want, and we have learned a lot that will help us continue into the future,” he said. “The next project we want to work on is getting potable water, because the one well we have only serves a few houses.”

Cesar says his two-year-old daughter Ixa will have many more opportunities.

“The biggest feeling I have is thanks,” Cesar said. “CEPAD believed in us, and that’s been just the beginning of so many changes. Ixa will never know the kind of poverty I did.”