The Power of Farmer-to-Farmer Sharing

By Betsy Agle

Bolvina Amador, Vecinos Honduras staff, leads a discussion about what creates a healthy home with the women of  AguaZ

Bolvina Amador, on the Vecinos Honduras staff, leads a discussion in Aqua Zarca about what creates a healthy home.

By the end of June 2016 there had been thirty-three training sessions led by an “expert” (Roy Lara or another NGO staff). Those led to more than twenty capacity-building workshops led by local community members, replicating what they had learned for smaller groups. (See Maria de Jesus of El Tule leading a workshop on how to keep a healthy home in the photo above.)

This combination of train-the-trainers teaching sessions and campesino-to-campesino workshops eventually reached well over 600 people, more than half of whom were women and youth. All this in just the first six months of this year.

Most sessions involved construction: building improved chicken houses, wood-conserving stoves, cement water-saving sinks and water-holding sinks of recycled tires which recycle water into nearby gardens. Other sessions included sharing nutritional recipes using the staple crops, corn and beans, and garden vegetables. The workshops have been led by youth, women, and men. In addition to the tangible results of these events, there has been another, perhaps more important benefit.

_el-cablotal-women-learn-to-build-a-wood-conserving-stove-from-their-neighbor-anibal-rios

El Cablotal women learn to build a wood-conserving stove from their neighbor, Anibal Rios.

Community leaders are emerging. Among them:

  • Marco Rios, Pastor of the Pentecostal church in La Majada, welcomes all opportunities to open the church in order to share ideas about improving the living conditions in his community. Pastor Rios led a workshop on to building wood-conserving stoves for the benefit of one community member.
  •  Byron Bueso, a 14 year old youth from El Puente attended several trainings and then helped lead workshops on building an improved sink and an improved sink in the first two months of 2016.
  •  Inez Gamez and her friend led a workshop on natural medicine. They demonstrated how to use local plants to cure common ailments, a very important topic for women whose children suffer from diarrhea, fevers, and ear aches but who have no money to purchase manufactured medicines.
practice-in-building-a-better-stove-that-will-save-time-fewer-trips-to-gather-wood-and-reduce-respiratory-disease-much-less-smoke-inside

Practice in building a better stove that will save time (fewer trips to gather wood) and reduce respiratory disease (much less smoke inside).

Many other community leaders have stepped forward to lead workshops. Some may have reached only the sixth grade and some may be illiterate. But they are clever at learning things that will improve the lives of their families and eager to share this knowledge.

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