Economic Empowerment Impact Stories Honduras

A New Generation

Written by Nadia Castro on Aug 20, 2021 12:00:00 PM

Thrive1-1It’s an early morning in the mountains of western Honduras and a cold breeze fills the air. Three brothers finish their breakfast of warm coffee, beans, and tortillas before heading out to the fields. Juan Cortez (21), Dionisio Cortez (17), and Oscar Cortez (16) walk to the center of a plot of tomato plants to begin their daily class at farming school. The last time we visited Cañadas La Campa, we met Mr. Felipe Benitez, a World Vision community promoter, who was sharing his skills and knowledge with a group of farmers. Today the farming school is filled with 15 young men who are learning good farming techniques and how to gain access to better markets. ¨Even though my dad passed away I thank God for Mr. Benitez and World Vision teachings. [They] have taught us better farming techniques, these are better than the traditional farming we were used to, ¨ says Juan. Dionisio says that growing up in the mountainside of Honduras comes with challenges. ¨It´s hard to find job opportunities and have a good income. Normally we would work for $4 per day, but that is not enough to help support our family,¨ he says. “Many friends of ours have chosen to migrate to the USA but we know it is very dangerous and our mother needs our help,” says Dionisio. Felipe knows what it is like to be in these young men’s situation. It wasn’t too long ago that he overcame similar challenges and learned about a better way to farm. Thanks to World Vision and the Transforming Household Resilience in Vulnerable Environments (THRIVE) project, the next generation of farmers are learning how to work the land properly, how to save, how to work as a team with other farmers, and how putting everything in God´s hands, can make a huge difference. These skills are starting to make a difference in the brothers’ lives. Now they can practice all the techniques they have learned in farming school, like soil bed placement, proper use of a greenhouse, irrigation systems, and protecting their crops. The class’s first harvest made a profit of $1,800. They put half back into their saving account and the other half into their next harvesting season. ¨We are grateful for Mr. Benitez's teachings and the time he has taken to show us how to correctly harvest tomatoes and bell peppers. We hope in the near future to replicate what we have learned and expand to potatoes and green beans,¨ says Oscar. Felipe is proud of the progress Juan, Dionisio, and Oscar are making. The brothers are replicating what they have learned in their own plot. Starting with the tomatoes, they can’t wait to harvest and sell them at the local market. “Now we can take better care of our mother and the land that [our father] left us,” says Juan.