The families of San Isidro have come a long way since 2017, when they fled their community because of floods that damaged or destroyed their houses, lands, crops, animals, irrigation system, and water supply. With support from Heart-Links partner Centro Esperanza, they have installed a reliable, community water supply, developed environmentally sustainable practices such as making their own organic fertilizer, animal feed and biogas heaters, and established a community chicken hatchery. Families began with 5 chicks and now have 30 laying hens on average. Their community association, led by a board of 3 women and 5 men, is legally recognized, allowing them to negotiate improvements with the local municipality.
For 2022, the community had initially planned to expand their production of animal feed. However, steep inflation and food shortages nationwide led them to modify their proposal to include market crops. Drawing on expertise within the community, they will collectively invest in a hectare of land where they will grow passion fruit. They will also plant vegetable gardens and continue to care for and rely on their laying hens, chicks and newly acquired sheep for income and food. Centro Esperanza will provide workshops in relevant agricultural practices and standards, bookkeeping, and marketing.
Leadership training and promoting participation by women in leadership positions and decision making continues to be a focus of this project, as does strengthening community organization and collaborating with other communities. Involving youth is a new priority.
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