Two years ago, we asked Heart-Links supporters to help María Suclupe reach her dream of raising chickens to help feed her family and increase their earnings. At the time, María’s community, San Isidro, was struggling to survive amid the restrictions and dangers posed by COVID-19. María had just been elected treasurer of San Isidro’s brand-new community association ECODAE.

The project Heart-Links’ donors funded provided laying hens and incubators, as well as training, to help community members feed themselves and their families. It also helped them organize and learn how to work together—women and men—to build a better, sustainable future.

María and other women saw changes in their relationships with their husbands and their positions in the community. “Some men are also learning the chores that we women do in the home,” María told us. “And well, for me and my family, my husband has also joined in raising animals. Because before, they thought that men only went out to work and we took care of the house and the animals. Not anymore.”

Today in San Isidro, ECODAE members raise chicken and sheep, and grow vegetables, passion fruit and papayas. They no longer need funding from Heart-Links to keep moving forward.

And María? She is now president of ECODAE.

Heart-Links has started helping another community in the region reach their dreams.

That was something María wanted, too. “We also want other women to learn what we’ve learned from the project—to improve their knowledge of raising small animals and to participate in decision-making at home and in the community,” she told us. “That they understand that women should be respected and valued. That household chores, raising animals and farmwork should be recognized and valued as work we women do that contributes to the household.”

ECODAE elects a new Executive Committee

Thank you for the support you gave María when she needed it. Investing in women like María is one way Heart-Links, with your help, is creating a more just world.