We recently updated you on a great story from the community of Buena Vista, where leaders were trained and were able to get a well dug in their community! Previous to this families had been carrying water from up to one-quarter of a mile to their homes. (To read this story, click here.)
Today, Buena Vista the leadership of Buena Vista is facing a new challenge, how to combat a severe drought affecting their community.
The average, the rainfall in August is usually over 40 inches, however in August they only received 1.5 inches of rain. The rain in September was also close to a record low. This means that farmers lost their first cycle of crops and there are increasing concerns that the second (and last) crop cycle of the year will be lost as well.
Most farmers rely on their crops to feed their families. Without a harvest, their families have nothing to eat.
Families in the area have been selling their cattle and other farm animals for money to buy food.The spike in farm animal sales has caused their price to drop, while at the same time, the price of basic grains has increased.
As the community leaders recount the difficulties that most are facing due to the lack of rain, Hugo Nicaragua explains that they are “thinking about working together to grow some watermelons.”“We, in our hearts, feel for the rest of the community… we worry when families run out of food,” says Teodora Velásquez. Though not officially part of the community leader team, this grandmother of 43 (and great-grandmother of 17) knows that many families in the community can only afford to eat one or two meals a day.
As a last resort, to combat the severe drought, the fields previously planted with rice and other grain crops that failed during the previous growing cycle will be planted with watermelon. This fruit is resistant to drought and if the community works together to irrigate and tend to the field, in about 90 days they might find some relief in the sale and consumption of the fruit.
Together, with the newly formed leadership in the community, villagers are working to take care of each other.
The community leaders of Buena Vista have made amazing progress given they are only in their first year of training with CEPAD. With three more years of training left they plan on taking on many more projects to benefit the lives of the villagers.
As the community gathers to work on this new project spearheaded by the community leaders, we at CEPAD are reminded to pray and encourage these farmers. As Paula Velásquez, a member of the community development committee, pointed out: “Even a positive word of encouragement will help us breathe!”
Please join us as we pray for rain and support for these farmers.