Bella Vista, Honduras, is a community where families are working together to make their lives better. While they still have many challenges to meet as a community and as individuals, many exciting things have been happening. Following is a very brief overview of activities in Bella Vista:
14 partners are up to date in their land loans, 11 partners made part of their annual payment, and 2 members have not made any payments.
Community members received training in natural resource management, including clean water sources and implementation of forest nurseries.
Clean Water & Basic Infrastructure:
5 families improved the floors in their homes, which will improve household sanitation practices and contribute to their health.
16 families improved their cooking stoves, reducing smoke in the home and improving respiratory health.
Producers were trained in the management and maintenance of their irrigation systems, which will improve its efficiency and use.
5 families received an updated gray water treatment system, which will improve the environmental hygiene of the village
Partners were trained in soil analysis and plant nutrition for fertilization purposes through a program offered by the field school.
At monthly meetings of the community bank, women received training on credit management, marketing and team organization.
Sales from crucial cash crops such as coffee, passion fruit and bananas enabled community members to afford loan repayments and household essentials.
Health & Community Wellbeing:
Work was done to strengthen the process of improving the health of the community through the school and healthy home methodology. Health advocates conducted monthly home visits.
Training was provided for the promotion of moral and spiritual values through community conversations among adults.
A workshop was given on preparation of wheat-based (cereal) foods, soybeans and yellow corn, enabling families to diversify their nutrition beyond a rice-based diet.
Women received training in Aztec embroidery techniques, giving them a new skill that can add to their income.
Community members were trained in topics such as project management and advocacy. The members created a proposal for to build a coffee processing plant for the community.
Community youth were trained in reproductive health and STDs. 21 Students received tutoring in Spanish and math.
Making a Difference…
Alvaro Ulloa and Ricky Vanesa Ortiz formerly lived in the village of Montanita Regadio in Santa Barbara. There, they used to work as laborers, making $4.00 a day. Their hopes and opportunities for advancement in life where minimal, since they not only had to rent their land, but also worked less than six days a week. When they heard about Agros, they jumped at the opportunity to become landowners.
Today, they own a house with all basic services. Alvaro and Vanessa have exhibited an excellent financial discipline. With the revenues obtained from their coffee and chili crops, they managed to pay 52% of their land loan and have cancelled, almost in its totality, their productive loans.
Alvaro is a wonderful example of entrepreneurship, commitment, and love for the land. Says Alvaro, “We are very grateful to Agros. Before, I only knew how to pick coffee beans. Now I own and run my own farm. Agros’ training has me improve my own crops. I now have the necessary experience and knowledge to manage my land, and, with the will of God, my goal is to pay off my land credit next year with the revenues from my coffee crop.”
“We thank God for the support received through Agros,” say Alvaro and Vanessa.