The following is the testimony of participant Martha Elena Angulo García in Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes de Nicaragua (ACJ)’s Climate Sensitive Agriculture program.
I’ve always enjoyed having plants in my yard, and used to try to grow vegetables but without much success; they would wilt and not produce. I figured my soil wasn’t any good, or I just didn’t have a ‘green thumb’. I got discouraged when the animals would eat my plants. Then a year ago, I participated in a training with ACJ about how to grow vegetable garden, and they showed us pictures of how folks like me had done it in other communities where they work I agreed to give it another try, so the technical staff showed me how to prepare the earth for planting and how to use recycled materials like plastic bottles and other containers to plant in. We constructed raised soil beds out of the way of the animals. I was worried about getting enough water for my plants, but the ACJ staff assured me that they wouldn’t need as much in the containers.
It was very satisfying for me to find that I could harvest lots of vegetables like onion, cucumber, beets, peppers and tomato after all! What’s more, our family can enjoy eating all our fresh produce without any nasty chemicals. I’ve also learned how to keep my own seeds for planting and I’m saving money because I don’t need to buy vegetables any more. My kids are learning right along with me, since they help me with our garden, and they like to make good use of our plastic garbage, because they learn about recycling at school. I’m grateful to God for giving me strength and perseverance, and I hope to continue learning about how to grow more healthy, tasty food in my garden.
In the past, we never grew anything in our yard of our house. We only grew beans, corn and sorghum on land that we rented. After paying rent, the profit was very marginal, especially after having to pay for fertilizer.
The San Lucas organization’s agriculture promoters taught us how to grow our own gardens to produce food we can consume in our home. Today I have 14 types of vegetables and plants in an area of about 150 square meters. We were taught techniques to make use of organic fertilizers and insecticides that don’t cost any money. This gardens produces food for us all year round, even in the dry season when we must carry water from about a kilometer a way. Now we have fresh and healthy things to eat all the time.
Everyone in our family works in the garden. Before our garden, we would have to buy vegetables at a very high price or go without. We hope to grow more things in the future, we are considering grapes and a few more fruits. It’s a blessing to be able to share with others as well.
In the last two years, our community has seen a lot of changes. The two most significant changes is the access to water and now access to fresh food. With the food we produce, its ours! We don’t have to pay for it. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t involve a lot of work, but its something we can count on.
The community of Ochomogo held a community assembly with the participation of 45 representatives of families with the purpose of disseminating the results of the topographic surveys. The work function of each family member was defined in the assembly and ensured that all people work equally. Another point of the Assembly was to present 14 planes of the water network. The set contains various types of planes and among them we can mention the hydraulic planes, planes of the topographic profile and plant, constructive detail of the water system. We had the presence of 60 heads of families who discussed and approved the donation of a piece of land where the solar modules will be installed. The Ochomogo community was also visited by a brigade of 8 people members of the Lucas Society of South Carolina. For 4 days, they worked with us and contributed to the purchases of materials and equipment for the installation of the solar pumping system: such as pipes, tank of 10,000 liters and valves. We installed the storage tank and conduction pipes. We also purchased the pumping equipment which was installed in December. During the exchange time with the members of the Luke Society from South Carolina, 80 people from the community were involved, 8 members of the team and 4 members of the Luke Society Nicaragua.
The community of Ochomogo continues to organize and strive to monitor the development of its savings plan that will be a contribution of 3000 thousand dollars in total. Closing in 2016 the fundraising with a total of 1200 dollars which is a breakthrough. 20 people gathered and made a review of the progress of the water project so far. Agreements were reached as the community will be organised to work in the installation of the water pumping system in January. The community has contributed with their labor skills and have number the volunteers to have a better control of those who will collaborate in the installation of the pumping system.
About 2 years ago, preparations were initiated for the construction of not only a well but of a dream. The farmer’s dream of having this essential liquid to water his crops, a mother’s dream of being cable to give to drink water to her children, the student`s dream of having a cold shower before coming into the classrooms. Nowadays that dream is almost culminating where 60 people, heads of houses, between males and females have participated in the work of digging the trenches being so the number of 30 participants per day regardless of the weather conditions. You can already feel the smell of damp earth and hear the laughs of joy of the children in the community playing in the shower. Every male and female has dug 1.20 meters deep.
You might be wondering why and what for. Each participating person had one thing in mind, that this tube of 2 “diameter would carry 20 gallons of water per minute to the storage tank and from the storage tank to each houses of each family in Ochomogo. One time Jesus said “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” Through you, dear reader, Jesus fulfilled this promise. Thank you!
In 2016, we received two complaints against the police officer José Agustín Santamaría, the first was filed by Fernando Manuel campos Guido, who works in a tricycle carrying people such as taxi and who’s been a victim of police harassment by this Police Officer, whenever the officer run into Fernando, Fernando is stopped and requisitioned. If he found Fernando 4 times in a day, those four times he was requisitioned, this young man had already served a sentence for selling drugs and now He is trying to reintegrate into society but, the officer would not leave him alone, He has experienced a horrible persecution.The other complaint was filed by Rosa Angélica Menbreño, she was verbally assaulted by the same officer in a vulgar and grotesque way in the month of May. Rosa filed a letter to the police chief of the municipality, El Realejo, who ignored it, so she decided to go to our office, because the police officer whenever he ran into her He would say offensive and insinuating things.
The Lieutenant Rosa Daniela Bárcena quoted the plaintiff to be interviewed by her at our office. When he was conducting the interviews the accused police officer came in and speaking to the lieutenant arrogantly, telling him that she did not have to be investigating without informing him. The investigative lieutenant threw him out of the office ordering to behave and to respect the office where they were, the lieutenant asked us to file a letter with the official stamp of our institution to explain the embarrassing behavior of the abusive officer and the next day we present the report with copy to the departmental headquarters, in the next three days, they resolved to discipline the officer by moving him from the police station in the municipality of El Realejo to a substation of the municipality of Chinandega where further actions were going to take place to help the officer to better his conduct.
one of the steps that have been taken in the process of the construction of the well in Ochomogo have been collecting water samples for analyses bacteriological and physico-chemical of the perforated well in Ochomogo community! With this project, 300 people in this community will improve their quality of life, consuming water of good quality according to international standards!