Women in Honduras grow agricultural and entrepreneurial knowledge
Living in a hot climate such as Palagua, Honduras has many challenges. This is especially true for those who work in agriculture, as the dry region and summer winds sometimes damage crops. But Maria Kenia Garcia Gómez sees beauty and opportunities in the environment and community around her.
“We are dedicated to agriculture and are proud of the nature around us,” said Maria.
Maria, 24, grew up in Palagua. The youngest of six sisters, she remembers her dad leaving for long periods to work as a labourer while her sisters went to school. But with few economic resources, the family struggled to give all six kids an education.
“I remember often going to school barefoot because we couldn’t afford shoes and having to reuse paper because we didn’t have enough for school supplies,” Maria said. Although it was challenging, Maria looks back on her childhood with fond memories. “We had freedom to play and go to school. I had a beautiful childhood.”
Maria now has a family of her own: a husband and a three-year-old boy. But the economic struggles she faced as a child are still present in her life. Maria’s husband goes to the city along with her father to work as a day labourer, and the family still has trouble buying necessities such as school supplies.
Wanting to learn more and have more opportunities, Maria got involved with a Cuso International entrepreneurship development program. The program seeks to strengthen entrepreneurial capacity and provide migrants with tools to support food security.
“I think that the lack of knowledge about these issues has kept us stagnant,” Maria said. “Now that we have more knowledge, we can move our family and community forward and it is all thanks to the Cuso International facilitators.”
Maria has learned how to save money and has passed that knowledge on to her family and community. Maria joined the savings and mutual aid group Women United for Development and is now the president.
“I feel like a more useful and intelligent woman,” she said. “We have helped the community by giving loans to the members of the group. We can already see the fruits of our organization and what we learned through the program with Cuso International.”
Although busy, Maria continues her studies in school administration and hopes to get her degree a year from now. For women and girls in her community, she hopes the future holds better opportunities to study and work.
“I keep seeing possibilities to learn and grow and I take them all. I want to give a better future to my son and my family,” she said.
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