Last May, we asked our supporters to help María Saclupe reach her dream of expanding her chicken business.

Our donors responded, and today María and her community are on their way to a thriving and sustainable business. Thanks to our donors, each family now has, on average, four laying hens and 21 chicks. They’ve even received an offer to buy 210 of their laying hens when they are ready to go to market.

There have been challenges: Power fluctuations (two communities share one power line) meant not all the eggs from the first round of incubation hatched. To improve outcomes, María took the lead in negotiating an independent power supply for their community with the municipality. She also invited the mayor to visit the new hatchery and he was so impressed, he waved the registration fee for installing a new power line.

Another challenge was the distance many community members had to walk in order to tend to their chicks, coralled at a central location, after they’d hatched. The solution was to house the chicks in smaller enclosures—one for every two houses—and keep them warm using biogas community members make themselves from manure.

To prevent disease Centro Esperanza, who runs the project, has enlisted a veterinary student to help community members vaccinate the chicks and teach them about appropriate nutrition at different stages of development and the importance of keeping the chicks’ pens clean.

San Idisro’s children are learning too.

Like María, many women in the community are eager to participate and learn more. They’ve asked Centro Esperanza to add public speaking to the workshops they will take so they can make their voices heard, in the community and beyond.

For these women and for María, your support has helped change their world.