Stories of Change

Doña Santos with her vegetation

Doña Santos Perseveres

In the community of Cunta, a small rural village in Honduras, Doña Santos, is inspiring change, despite the various challenges she has faced. Doña Santos recently became widowed, something which affected both her and her children drastically, but she did not let grief stop her. In a short time, she went from helping to sell vegetables from someone else’s land to having her own cultivation space. Now, she has a team of young people from the community who support her in distributing the vegetables she harvests, and she is already planning to open her own local enterprise.

Doña Santos is part of CWS’ program in Honduras which supports nutritional food security and family agriculture, focusing on health and nutrition training for rural families to strengthen their capabilities and promote their development. “Water problems have always been an issue around here. I didn’t know how to use the water pump before; everything was much harder. Then, we started learning more,” Doña Santos shares. In addition to her main project of fruits and vegetables, Mrs. Santos has a chicken coop and is already preparing another space to receive a pig.

Families like Doña Santos’ receive technical support and participate in various production activities, environmental sanitation and sustainable practices. Participants also attend meetings with local government and engage in activities related to women’s rights, entrepreneurship and self-care.

After Doña Santos started participating in these training sessions, she learned to use organic fertilizers, improved the quality of her crops and learned to manage her income. She said, “I feel happy because now that I’m in this project, I’ve prospered a bit. I don’t have to buy food for my family anymore; everything comes from the land. We only buy chili. I’ve already been with a group of women learning how to make pickles.”

After many years with a routine that starts at 4:30 in the morning, Doña Santos’ work has become exhausting for her health. Recently she’s experienced knee pain which prevents her from going out to sell her vegetables. Always perseverant, however, Doña Santos already has a solution. “I plan to have a mini market to sell my things. I always try to reinvest the income back into the business,” she said.

Through her perseverance and resilience, Doña Santos is building a legacy for her family to be happy and healthy.

Doña Santos is one of the 21 families in the area participating in the ‘Produce Verde’ project, implemented by our local partner, Comisión de Acción Social Menonita (CASM), with the support of Growing Hope Globally. In total, 750 families are participating across the municipalities of Macuelizo, Nueva Frontera and Azacualpa (Santa Barbara, Honduras). Click here to learn more about our work in Central America.