Before the sun has finished rising, Orfelina, who lives in rural Honduras, is up and ready to start her day. She starts with those she loves the most by sharing breakfast with her daughter and her husband. Next, she prepares lunch and heads out to her favorite part of the day: visiting the fields where she delights in working with families and teaching them modern methods to care for the land they harvest.
Orfelina Portillo is an agricultural technician at the Mennonite Social Action Commission, a CWS partner in Honduras. She has worked with communities in the Santa Bárbara region for 16 years and states that her work is one of the best things that has happened to her in her life. “I am already part of the inventory,” she jokes, and then says, “I am very happy here.”
This year, with the help of Growing Hope Globally and CWS, CASM began to implement a new program called “Produce Green.” The program has been implemented in 16 communities and aims to encourage agricultural production under a sustainable agriculture approach, increase the protection of forests, expand access to healthy food and generate income from the sale of crops for 750 families.
Orfelina leads many activities in the program to teach community members the best farming methods. The topics she teaches range from basic sanitation all the way to vermiculture (the controlled growing of worms!) and much more.
In addition to being deeply knowledgeable, Orfelina is a gifted servant leader. When she’s out and about, you’ll likely catch Orfelina helping to carry sacks of food, delivering supplies, checking on the crops or animals or checking in with the families involved in the program. She is a foundational member of her community and enjoys every second of it.
Orfelina described the importance of her work with a glowing smile. “This is what I am passionate about: teaching. My profession is a very important part of my everyday life. My work is my joy and I take care of it as if it were a baby. I am part of the strong hand that feeds the world.”
To join hands with Orfelina and our other program participants around the world to make a change, click here.