Donors Help El Salvador Families Weave Hope for a Brighter Future
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 11, 2018) For poor families in the tiny community of Caserio Copante, the future is as bright as the vivid colors in the handmade hammocks that are an essential part of life for many in El Salvador.
Thanks to compassionate donors, families are living in 30 new safe, secure homes with clean water, sanitation, and the supplies and resources necessary to raise chickens. The chicken eggs are providing a source of protein and supplemental income.
Nine families in the community also received a generous supply of thread to make their colorful hammocks plus help covering the initial cost of transporting them to sell directly to customers at local markets.
In the past, the residents of Caserio Copante did not have the means to buy new thread or get their beautiful tapestries to markets outside their community. Instead, they sold the hammocks for $4 to a middleman, who then sold them for much more without sharing the profits.
Families now sell the hammocks for $35 each, making up to $160 a month in profit. It is their primary source of income. With access to more thread, each family is able to produce three hammocks per week compared to one before the project.
New Horizons for the Poor Foundation, the charity’s trusted partner in El Salvador, is teaching the families how to reinvest the profits to keep their business thriving and sustainable for the long term, which is key to breaking the cycle of poverty.
At an inauguration of the new homes earlier this year, the community proudly presented the donors with their own hammocks.
“I am very thankful for Food For The Poor for the financial support we have received for the hammock project,” said Sandra, one of the beneficiaries. “Nine of us have benefited from it and we are really happy about it.”
Another beneficiary, Santos, also is thankful because he and his family are living better.
“Thanks to God and thanks to Food For The Poor for helping us with this project,” he said. “We are a family of six and, since we have benefited from it, we have been doing much better. We are making three hammocks each week and our profit is $160 a month. We are very grateful for it.”
Food For The Poor has been actively working to help the poor in El Salvador since 1996.
El Salvador is one of the smallest, poorest and most densely populated nations in the Western Hemisphere.
The country’s large population and limited amount of land stretch natural resources to their breaking points, contributing to housing shortages. Many families live in makeshift homes made of wood, rusty metal and a material similar to bamboo, vulnerable to storms and heavy rain.
Before the charity and its donors intervened, the poorest families of Caserio Copante lived in shacks where the inside felt much like the outside: hot, cold, windy, rainy or damp. Children were always fighting fever and colds.
Noemi, born without the use of her legs, had to drag herself up and down the rough terrain using her hands and arms to get to her old shack. Not only did she receive a new home, but donors are providing her an all-terrain wheelchair and excavating an easier path to her front door.
Noemi and her neighbors now live in candy-colored homes built with concrete walls and foundations, and zinc roofs that provide a safe refuge from the elements.
“The best things we can provide for the poor are a safe, sturdy home, a source of sustainable food and a method by which they can transform their lives such as making the hammocks,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “These homes and hammocks are a blessing to these families’ lives.”
“This is evidence that a small investment in a family’s life can have tremendous returns,” Mahfood said. “This is not about one home or one hammock, but about a gift for a lifetime.”
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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