International Women’s Day 2022: Women in El Salvador Harvest Hope for the Future
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 8, 2022) Impoverished women in El Salvador are providing fresh vegetables at the dinner table for their families as well as earning an income to provide hope for future generations.
Three harvests of tomatoes and sweet chili peppers have been completed for the La Montañona Women’s Macrotunnels Project.
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, Food For The Poor salutes these women and the generous donors who support this sustainable project.
Fifteen women were provided with the tools, education and training necessary to cultivate vegetables. The crops are grown in greenhouse-like structures called macrotunnels engineered by in-country partner New Horizons For The Poor Foundation and are made from materials that create the ideal growing conditions.
Cecy, a mother of two young girls, 12 and 8, said the project has had a positive impact on her family.
“I am so grateful for the donors for this project that was gifted to me,” Cecy said. “It has been so helpful in sustaining the family. We have discovered that the crops are so much better under the macrotunnels. Because of this help, we are so motivated.”
Despite setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and threats to the crops from Tropical Storm Amanda in May 2020 and back-to-back Hurricanes Eta and Iota several months later, the women continued to work diligently to make sure their crops stayed healthy.
The women made more than $5,400 for all three harvests of tomatoes and peppers from April 2020 to January 2021. They are using the profits to reinvest and expand the project to grow even more vegetables.
Women are disproportionately affected by poverty, according to the United Nations, which reported that the pandemic was expected to increase the poverty rate for women and widen the gap between men and women who live in poverty.
According to Oxfam International, a group of independent nongovernmental organizations, gender inequality in the economy costs women in developing countries $9 trillion a year.
Oxfam reports that countries with higher levels of gender equality tend to have higher income levels, and evidence shows closing the gap leads to a reduction in poverty.
In Latin America, Oxfam said an increase in the number of women in paid work positions between 2000 and 2010 accounted for around 30 percent of the overall reduction in poverty and income inequality.
FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said the macrotunnels project is teaching the women of La Montañona, El Salvador, valuable skills and providing the foundation for them to succeed.
“We’re committed to income-generating projects in the communities where we serve to give women and their families the ability to break free of poverty,” Raine said. “Because of the unwavering support of our donors, we are planting the seeds for the success of these women.”
Since 1996, FFTP has worked in El Salvador through several partners, including New Horizons For The Poor Foundation, Fundación Salvadoreña para la Salud (Salvadorian Foundation for Health) and Caritas.
FFTP was saddened to learn that Fr. David Blanchard, a longtime partner and the founder of New Horizons For The Poor Foundation, died on Feb. 27. Fr. Blanchard was a champion of poverty-stricken people and his loss is felt deeply.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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